Friday, October 18, 2013

Who Stole "Halloween" from Whom?

Finally, a voice of reason: “The idea that Christians “stole” [Halloween] from pagans, therefore, seems pretty far-fetched. In fact the evidence seems to point the other way: the neopagans seem to have unintentionally “stolen” it from the Christians….”

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Lunch in the Park

I’ve started taking my lunch in Retama Park on Maple Avenue.  It’s a three minute walk from my office…and few people are ever there in the middle of day.  This park has become a delightful escape from the technology, air-conditioning, and straight lines of the office.


Today, as in other days, I sit on a bench towards the center of the park, the only bench that’s actually in the shade.   A large water-oak spreads it limbs to block the harsh south Texas sun.  In the shade, the constant breezes making their way from the Gulf make the spot perfect for reading, thinking…or dozing.


I’m reading a novel—Tony Hillerman (The Walking Wind).  Out of the corner of my eye, a person comes into view…a boy…a young boy…a BIG boy…maybe 10-years-old?  He has his basketball.  He makes his way onto the concrete courts where the netting is half torn away from the baskets.  He begins to dribble and shoot—duip, duip, duip, duip….plunk!...duip, duip, duip….

I return to my novel.  Shortly, my mind begins to wander…and the sun is slipping through the leaves making the pages bright…hurting my eyes.  I lay the book down, lean my elbows on my knees to escape the sun, and rest my chin on my loosely balled fists.  About 25 feet away, a Mexican ground squirrel scurries, haltingly, through the scrubby grass.

“You bored?”

I hadn’t noticed that the dribbling had stopped.  Turning to the voice, the lad stands ten feet away looking at me, ball in hand.

“No, not bored…just sitting here thinking.”

“I’m bored.”

“Well, at least you have a park to play some basketball in.  Do you live close by?”

He points across the street to the public housing for the elderly.

“So, you get to come over anytime you want.  That’s cool.”

“Yeah…but I’m bored…I’m SO bored.  I can’t wait for school to start back.”

“Well, don’t wish away these summers!  I remember when I was your age that summers dragged on forever.  Now, I don’t get summer breaks…and I miss those days."

“Well, I just know I’m bored."

“What grade are you in?”

“I’m going into sixth grade!”

“Oh…so, is that middle school?”

“I’m not from around here.  I’m just visiting my grandma.  I live in Elsa” (a small, rural town some 45 minutes from where we are.)

Not really an answer to my question…but, I guess he thought ahead to cut off the next inevitable question.

“Ah…just spending some time with Grandma?”

“Yeah.  You wanna play some ball?”

Laughing a bit, “Uh…well, I have to go back to the office here in a minute, and in this heat, I’d be a sweaty mess if I played ball.  So, I can’t this time….”

“Oh…yeah, okay.  You work at STC?”

“Yes, I work at STC.”

“What do you do?”

“I work in Institutional Effectiveness.”

“What’s that?”

“Well, I make sure everyone in all the programs and departments stay on track.”

“Oh…sort of like ‘school monitor’?”

“Yeah…kind of like a ‘school monitor’.”  I laugh.

My lunch hour really is up, so I stand.

“Well, I need to get back to work.  Have a good time shootin’ hoops.”

“Okay…I will.  See you later.”

“See you….”  And, off I go, back towards the office.

There are good kids in this world.  He talked easily with me, an adult.  He allowed himself to be curious, to ask questions.  He was kind…and didn’t cuss (kind of rare for our neck of the woods.)  He had no devices visible of any kind—no phone, no tablet—nothing to distract him from his surroundings…or from our conversation.

Next time, I’m going to shoot some hoops.  And, I plan to have a book to give him in his season of boredom.  Next time, if God gives me a next time….

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Are We Born Good or Bad?


Often times in my classes, we begin to discuss those questions that deal with ‘worldview’ and ‘ultimate reality.’  The questions usually begin to surface when I suggest that our perspectives and understandings of the world are built on the foundation of our ‘presuppositions’—those underlying beliefs that we bring to every situation or question.  For instance, we have all have presuppositions about humanity.  I ask my students, “Are people, humans, basically good or basically bad?”

How we answer this question will inform how we deal with others, what we expect of people, how we raise our children, etc.  If I presume humanity to be basically good, then I’m horrified at the Columbines, Auroras, Newtowns and city buses of New Delhi; if I presume humanity to be basically bad, then I’m not terribly surprised by the horrors of humanity (or at least I shouldn’t be!)

But, is there another option?  After we have debated and fleshed out the good or bad perspectives in my classes, I raise a third perspective (presupposition)—humanity is not good or bad; people are born selfish, self-centered.

Anyone who has ever had children will recognize it in a moment.  Children really aren’t morally good or bad until they are old enough to make conscious decisions regarding themselves in relation to others.  BUT, from the moment they are born, they are absolutely self-absorbed, self-centered, selfish.  They want milk…and they want it now.  Then, they want attention.  They want praise.  They want…want…want.  The children don’t just ‘grow out of it’ – just take a three-year-0ld up and down aisles of Toys-R-Us or even just a local grocery stores and you’ll hear it—“But I want….!  Waaaaaaaa!”  I even hear it from teenagers…and, lamentably, from adults as well….

If we were born bad, that would explain some of the horror we see in the world…but not the good we see.  If we were born good,…then the world should certainly be a much better place than it is!  But, if we are born selfish…then, well, that would explain a lot about the world…the good and the bad.

If individuals are selfish, then groups of individuals would develop a “group selfishness”…and we see that as corporations seek market control, political parties push for their party line, as governments push for patriotism and nationalism.  In fact, if we look at many of the problems today—from the small and local to the big and national, we can trace the origins of the problems back to good, old-fashioned selfishness and egoism.

I believe that the Christian Scriptures recognize self-worship and self-importance as the greatest problem with humanity…and call for self-emptying as the highest act of faith.  Jesus taught his followers, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends” (TNIV).  The very greatest love one can have is to commit a selfless act. Jesus even 'walked the talk'...right up to an agonizing death on the Cross.  If that is the greatest love, then the opposite—the worst thing one can do—is to pursue selfishness.

So, if we ‘buy’ this idea—humanity is first and foremost selfish—what does that mean for us?  It means that before or as we teach our children to be ‘good,’ we have to teach them to think of others, to act on behalf of others, to live for the benefit of others…and not just unto themselves.  It means that as adults we must be willing to set aside the pursuit of our personal gain and recognize that we must help others to achieve and gain as well.  It means that our institutions, companies and corporations must look beyond themselves and the bottom-line profits.  It means that our nation and all the other nations must do more than help themselves.

Are people basically good or basically bad?  No…we are basically selfish, and the great human task is to train the coming generation—and move ourselves—to look beyond ourselves, to think of others.  I suppose Jesus is the one who shows us best how to get there....

Monday, April 15, 2013

Youth...


Youth is not a time of life—it is a state of mind;
it is a temper of the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions, a predominance of courage over timidity….
Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years; people grow old only by deserting their ideals. 
Years wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. 
Worry, doubt, self-distrust, fear and despair—these are long, long years that bow the head and turn the growing spirit back to dust.

Whether 70 or 16, there is in every being’s heart the unfailing childlike appetite for…the joy of the game of life. 
You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt;
as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear;
as young as your hope;
as old as your despair. 
So long as your heart receives messages of beauty, cheer, courage, grandeur and power from the earth, from man and from the Infinite, so long are you young.
-copied-

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Living Well…Writing Stories


The decisions we make today will define the stories that get told about us… we are all writing a story with our lives.  ~ Josh Becker

That’s a sobering thought.  And, I might add, it’s a thought we should have from time to time…just to remind us that we do not live unto ourselves, that people around us are watching us and listening to us.  They tell our story and will tell our story, whether we want them to or not.



Near our home in Lance aux Epines, Grenada, when I was growing up, two old women lived together in a small house.  We really never knew them.  In fact, we couldn't get to know them because every time we got close to their home, they would come out and threaten us—“Get away from here or we’ll call the police!”  We didn't even have malicious intentions…well, not in the beginning anyway.  They continued to over-react and threaten us for seemingly no reasons at all.  So, we began to push back.  And, then Halloween came around.  Of course, we had to trick-or-treat at every house around us, so not even the old ladies would be spared.  They were given the wonderful opportunity of gifting us with candies…but, again, “Get out of here!”  So, we rained down rocks on their roof…and in Grenada at that time, roofs were all corrugated tin…and the sound of raining stones was quite deafening for them, I’m sure.  They called the police…but, really—it took them an hour to arrive, and we were long gone.

The point of the brief vignette is this—the story we have about the old ladies is a story of rejection, rudeness, and retribution.  How different might that story have been if the old ladies had taken time to tell one of us about a desire for quiet and solitude, if they had engaged us just briefly to tell us that they were in fact ‘old’ and just wanted to be left alone?  Their decisions and actions indeed determined their story.  (Oh, I cannot in any way justify the silly, childish response on our part, so I won’t even try!  Now, that foolishness is part of my story….)

Dr. Sarah Wingard was a person to be feared above all others in our college English department. Yet, she was perhaps the least imposing person physically.  Where her slight 5’ frame and arthritis twisted hands might have revealed weakness, an amazingly intimidating persona with a withering look made her seem larger than life.  She was not an amazing lecturer, per se…but somehow she captured our minds and carried us with her through centuries of literature, introducing us to hundreds of unforgettable characters.  While the average person on our campus would know well the reputation of this lady, a few of us had and have a different take on Dr. Wingard.  She was a person who cared about her students, but one wouldn't find that out until one needed care.

I had been wrestling with some depression, issues of personal identity, and some soggy winter weather—all three of which conspired to keep me snuzzled in my bed for a day or two…or three.  Then, the knock came at the door late one morning.  “Hey, Jon.  Dr. Wingard wants you at her office today at 2pm.”  That was all it took.  She sent word to me to be at her office?  Yikes!  I knew I was in for now.  I had skipped her class twice in a row.  With fear and trepidation, and with a pocket full of well-crafted excuses and explanations, I went to her office door.  I rapped softly and heard that voice, “Come in.”  I went in.  She sat.  “Sit down, Jon.”  So I sat.  “What’s going on, Jon—you've missed two classes, and you’re going to get so far behind you won’t be able to catch up.  You’re too smart and too good a student to let that happen.  What’s going on?”  All of my pretense fell away, my excuses went out the window…and I just told her about my depression and struggles.  She gently reminded me of the poets we had studies, of their struggles…and pointed me back to the same literature we had studied in class.  “There, in those words, you will find words that will lift you and carry you and inspire you.”  And, she was right.  To this day, the words of Wordsworth and Blake and Shelley DO move me and carry me.  And, because of her compassion, to this day, I remember Dr. Wingard not only as a ‘formidable’ professor, but as a person who cared enough to call me out of my pit and point me towards the light….

So, our decisions and our actions do pen our stories.  When we reach out to others, when we engage, when we act out of good intentions, we write stories that others will eagerly tell with joy.  When we refuse to engage or when we engage negatively, we write stories that others will tell as well…stories of warning and how not to be.  Therefore, I determine anew and afresh to act in ways that write a good story…on the outside chance that someday, somewhere, someone will tell others stories of Jon.  May they be good stories….

~Jon~

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Finding Home


For me, it’s a well-worn theme related to the great “who-am-I?” quest.  Where is home?  What serves at that anchor for me when I need to know that I have a past?  The older I get, the more important it is to me to have a place called home.  And, while there have been shifts and so forth through the years, “home” really has not ever changed for me. 

Some of you will have read my various “Third Culture Kid” (Pt.1 , Pt.2 , Pt.2.5)entries in the past—the story of my moving and traveling around as a child/teenager…and the sense of homeless that has often accompanied that.  Even with all the travels and culture ‘basket-turn-over,’ the real place that is home for me is Grenada in the southern Caribbean.  I lived seven years of my life there (1975-1982).  You may be thinking, “Just seven years??”  Well, consider this:  Seven years in Grenada is almost twice as long as I have lived anywhere else…ever!  Add to that the fact that I spent the most formative years of my life (besides my years in higher education)—we arrived in Grenada when I was entering Standard 5 (5th Grade)…and we left after I finished my ‘O-Levels’ (now known as CXC Exams).  So, of all the places I’ve lived, Grenada earns and deserves the distinction of being “home” for me.



I recall arriving in Grenada in 1975.  We first rented a small house in Lance aux Epines (say ‘lance a’ peens’) across the road from where Probie, Rachel and Gracie lived.  We played with them every day.  I remember sitting in the shop at Probie’s house, watching his father repair lawn-mowers… ‘playing’ with all the cool stuff down there…and learning a bit about how small motors worked and how to work on them.  The Evans boys were around as well… ‘Mango’ and his brother (sorry, memory fails!).  We would sometimes play with the boy up the road whose father was head of Barclay’s Bank?  I just remember a huge house with an open courtyard in the center.  Past that house is where Clancy lived—the millionaire thief who had escaped to Grenada.

Within a few months, my parents had found a more permanent place for us, and we moved into the Cooke-Yarborough House.  It wasn’t far from where we had been living, so we stayed in touch with our first friends, but we also made new friends as well.  There was Gregor across the street, a boy from Switzerland who was my age, whose father worked with one of the banks.  And, there were the “terrible twins” who I found myself playing with often (in fact, we got caught stealing cigarettes from the Mini-Mart across from The Red Crab at one time…!)  Gillian and Trevor lived ‘below’ our house…down the hill, and we ‘enjoyed’ a love-hate relationship, one day playing together, and the next day landing stones on each others’ homes!  And, of course, our immediate neighbors—Andrew, Natalie and Alison—became some of our best friends. 



Peter lived not too far away, and he would end up over at Andrew’s or they’d all end up in our garage throwing darts, making black coral jewelry, playing table tennis,…or we’d head down to the beach below our house to go snorkeling/spear-fishing, or push the ‘raft’ up and down the coasts of that then-deserted bay.




At school, there were another set of friends.  Harold, Anthea, Phillip, Eunice, Samuel, Ronnie, Kennrick, Bobby, Gordon, Audrey, Gillian, Sharleen—we all hung out together.  Most of us were in the school band together.  Bobby and I just sort of fell in together out of similar interests and a streak of rebellion (ha!)  In fact, most of the other students called Bobby and me ‘co-pilots’…because they rarely saw one of us without the other.  Most of my “home” friends went to either Westmoreland Secondary School or Presentation Brothers College.  So, my home friends and school friends were not the same.  That made things a little complex, but it ended up working out fine—all things considered.  Anyway, my days at Berean Christian Academy are fondly remembered.  In fact, I still think that the preparation I received there really got me ready for university in the US. 



My father, “Pastor Herrin”, was the founding missionary of the Grenada Baptist Churches on the island.  So, every Sunday morning and every Thursday evening, we were in church…and I had my friends there as well.  The “inner circle” included Terrance, Louise and me.  The three of us would hang out…go to the beach…sit on the back row during service and pass notes…just ‘lime’ together.  We were really close….  There were also Aaron, Hensley, Gladys, and others who were a wonderful part of my life in the church.




In 1978, a big change came along—the organization my parents worked for bought us a house.  Still in Lance aux Epines, but now it was across on the south side right across from the entrance to the Boat Yard.  There, we soon made friends with Frances at the end of our road…with Karen up on the hill—where one of my early good friends, Richard (Richie), had lived.  No longer within easy walking distance of my old friends, I began to spend a lot of time on the beach.  Also, I now had ‘wheels’ (my moto), so my friends went beyond walking distance.  



Oh, I didn’t abandon my friends on the other side…but I didn’t see them as often.
Somewhere along the way, I befriend George and Fu-Fu who lived in St. Georges…whose family ran businesses in the city.  I would meet them on Grand Anse beach…go up to their home for smashing table-tennis competitions…and enjoy the amazing Middle Eastern foods that came out of their kitchen!  We planned parties…one of which actually came to fruition—a small dance that included Virginia and Negar and others….  Virginia and her sister, Claudia, also became good friends.

A fellow who graduated from my school and some new students there had motorcycles, so I would cruise the area with Vishnu and the Lawrence boys from time to time, trading motos and racing around.
Yes, my life in Grenada was an amazing life, and I’ve managed to mention the names of many people who impacted my life in wonderful ways.   Many of these people are still friends today with whom I exchange notes and comments on Facebook:  Natalie, Alison, Rachel, Negar, Virginia, Claudia, Louise, Eunice, Shar, Gordon, Peter, Nigel (one of the ‘terrible twins’ who turned out to be a fairly nice guy! ha, ha…), Fu-Fu, Gillian, Anthea, Aaron, Hensley…and others (who I hope are not offended for not having been mentioned or included—time and space limit me from a full ‘roll-call.’)

In 1982, my parents moved us to the US—a strange and foreign land to me.  Since I had finished high school young in Grenada, I did another two years of high school in the US so I would be the same age as others entering university.  From those two years of school in the US, I have one—yes, ONE (1)—friend with whom I am still in touch.  From the university, I have less than five friends with whom I’m in touch.  After three years in Venezuela, perhaps a dozen people with whom I communicate.  Three more years in Mexico results in maybe 15-20 lasting friendships. 

When I look at my Facebook, I have 96!! friends from or associated with Grenada…people I have met and known and shared my life with over the last 40 years.  Some of those are friends of friends that I’ve gotten know more recently, but I almost 70 of those are people that I knew from my early years.

So, yes…Grenada is home for me.  I am connected to the people…my best memories are there…and, I might add, my dreams are there.  People often ask or consider the question, “If money were no object, what would you do?”  For me, I don’t even have to think about it—I’d move to Grenada.  Oh, I’d want to remain a teacher, educator…but I’d rather be doing it in Grenada, giving back to the land and the people who gave me so much, who made me who I am today.  Yes, ah dey, mon!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

What We Do & Who We Are

In a perfect world, what we do and who we are fall into a beautiful alignment. Even in our imperfect world, there are those who find this alignment…some for a season and a few for a lifetime.

My job title is “Institutional Effectiveness & Assessment Analyst.” Seeing my title, you might actually think that I am an analyst. But, you’d be mistaken. You see, in my heart, I am a teacher, an educator. A set of circumstances in the last year moved me into this position, but I’ll save that for another time. Suffice to say, what I do is not in line with who I really am. I don’t love that, but it is what it is.

However, in my position as an analyst, I do have the freedom to teach a course each semester at our college. The Office of Institutional Effectiveness & Assessment ‘owns’ me for eight hours a day, but before or after those eight hours, I am free to do as I wish. And, thanks to a wonderful English department chair and a constant need for adjunct instructors, I get to teach an evening course each semester.

Now, I could have taken an attitude of “all or nothing”—I want to be a teacher, or I want nothing to do with it. But if I did that, I would miss out on knowing the 18 wonderful students I have this semester, students whose lives I’m entering, with whom I’m sharing my life. I’m teaching them writing…and—hopefully!—a whole lot more. Since I need to work to support my family, I’ll take the analyst job and make the very best of it; since my soul burns to teach and be with students, I’ll take whatever teaching opportunity—large or small—that comes my way.

I have a feeling that this same disjunction happens in the life of faith. What we do and who we are spiritually often doesn’t line up either. So many followers of Jesus want to spend their lives in service to God…but there’s work at banks, firms, restaurants, etc. Many, I’m sure, would enjoy spending day after day losing themselves in Scripture, song, or prayer…would prefer to be far away in a distant land sharing the faith through friendships…would rather be constructing a house of worship or training young Christian leaders. But, what they do and who they are just don’t line up.

What to do? The same thing I do—take every opportunity large and small that comes along to live that life of faith. If there is a mission trip, jump on it! If there is a project in the community, latch onto it. If there is a chance to spend 20 minutes in Scripture, song, or prayer, enjoy those 20 minutes. If there is a short-term trip to a distant land, save your money and take the trip. If there is a mission team going to build a church or going to help train and encourage new Christian leaders, go for it! Don’t “wait for retirement.” And for goodness sakes, don’t take an attitude of “all or nothing.”

Yes, I wish that my work and my passion were better aligned, but they’re not…for now. Just another reminder that we live in a ‘broken world.’ But, I don’t have to let that ‘brokenness’ break me. I will do the work I have to do in order to be the provider I must be as a husband and father. But, I will also keep my eye on the dream…I’ll keep the passion alive…and work in that direction. And, every time I get a chance to take a step towards my true self, my passion, my faith, I’ll take it…and enjoy it…and make it count. We aren’t what we do—we are who we are…with the call and passions that God has placed in us.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Ever Changing…Yet Unchanging


Yes, there is something rather contradictory about such a title, but I have come to find this seeming paradox quite true.  In our culture at large, we come to value the unchanging, the steady, the constant.  I have heard someone say of another, “Oh, Mr. So-in-So…he is as steady as they come; you count on him like you can the sunrise.”  That’s a pretty high complement…one I've often wished to overhear being said about me…but probably never will.  That’s because I’m not in the ‘steady’ or ‘constant’ crowd.  I’m more likely to hear something like, “Oh, Jon…there he goes again…so fickle...chasing another dream….”

I am a human…alive...and that means change.  Yet, in the midst of change, there ARE some constants.  For example, one unchanging aspect of my life is the love I have for my wife.  But, how I EXPRESS that love is ever changing.  At times, this love is expressed in a very physical way, through a closeness that I experience with no one else in this world.  At other times, this love is expressed through a glance, a quick look filled with meaning and depth that brings a subtle smile.  We have “off” days, bad days.  On those days, my love for her may be expressed by silence…by saying nothing…by taking three hours at the local library or coffee shop to give her (or me) needed space.  Yet, underneath the surface of multifaceted expression, the love remains…unchanging. 

Another unchanging aspect of my life is my faith in God.  As with my love for my wife, my faith in God is expressed in many different ways.  On Sunday mornings, I gather with ‘Jesus people’ in a large group where I sing loudly and passionately…where I sway a bit to the music…where I join in group study and reflection on the Christian Scriptures.  During the week, I don’t do those things too much.  (I think my office mates are glad I don’t.  I believe if I did that, I’d probably be fired.)  So, my faith—though unchanging—will be lived out and expressed in different ways depending on the situation, the context.  Some days I identify with the 1st Century Christians as I read the letters of Paul to those early groups of ‘Jesus people.’  Some days, I identify with the Desert Fathers of the 3rd Century…or with the Celtic Christians of the 6th Century…with the Reformers of the 16th Century…then with the new ‘radicals’ of the 21st Century.  At times my faith has me focused on our Creator God…at times on God the Son…and at other times on the Spirit of God.  I’m all over the place—in my expression, identifications, and foci.  But, the underlying faith is unchanging.

One of the tenets of the Christian faith is the unchanging God, yet God is always changing.  In Scripture, we find God changing His mind, changing His plans—just read the powerful, emotion-packed interchanges between God and Moses…or read through the Psalms.  Then, 2000 years ago, God changed—God experienced something that He had never before experienced.  The Creator became creation; God became human. (Think of it this way:  The man who makes the oak rocking chairs somehow becomes one of those rocking chairs—that is almost mind-blowing!)  Yet, our God is unchanging as well—forever Creator and Sustainer of all things; forever Author of love and of our salvation; forever Emmanuel—God with us.  But, how God interacts with us may change and does change.  How God reveals Himself to us may vary from day to day, and certainly from culture to culture—He meets us through a song, in a reading, in a sunset, in a stranger, in silence.  So, WHO God is never changes.  God is “the same yesterday, today and forever.”

And me?  I’ll still chase dreams.  I’ll have my ups and downs.  But, below the multiple layers of expression and the swirl of human emotions, yes—I find a solid, unchanging core…and that unchanging aspect—I must believe—is directly related to my faith in and the presence of the Unchanging One.  I’m ever changing…yet unchanging.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Inside...Outside...

Inside my office...sitting, working...;
     Outside...walking, standing, stretching, breathing deeply.

Inside...clear, clean air goes unnoticed;
     Outside...a hundred smells--some good, some bad, all noticed-- tickle my nose
          with smells of life.

Inside...walls of light grey, ceiling of white, carpet of faded, speckled purple;
     Outside...my eyes feast on the palette of God's creation--colours of the rainbow in
          a thousand hues.

Inside...a steady 75 degrees;
     Outside...cold mornings give way to warm afternoons which fade into cool evenings.

Inside...seemingly unmoving air hums overhead incessantly, unchanging;
     Outside...winds from off the Gulf rise and fall whispering in different tones as they pass through
          leaves of live-oak...palm trees...the rubbery stuff of banana trees.

Inside...four silent florescent tubes light my space;
     Outside...the star at the center of our solar system licks my skin, sharing warmth and glow.

Inside...sitting, working...dying;
     Outside, standing, playing, imagination running wild, far and free...I live.

Monday, January 7, 2013

What Am I Reading?



Reading, reading, reading!  
Can't stop...won't stop--got to keep learning and keep the mind active.
My present intellectual diet:

The Next 100 Years: A Forecast of the 21st Century - George Friedman
Brother Roger of Taize: Essential Writings
Experiences in Translation - Umberto Eco
Under the Unpredictable Plant - Eugene Peterson

I hope that you are reading also.  If you've found a really good book, share the title with us in the comments below.

Hoping you all are off to a good New Year!

~Jon~


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all!  I hope that you are as happy to see this year beginning as I am.  2012 was a pretty good year…but this year will be even better!

I wish you and yours the very best in the days, weeks, and months to come.  May we live well, live to the full, and live lives that impact others.

More to come…!