Friday, May 29, 2009

Recent Reading and Quotes

I think I might have mentioned that I've been reading a lot recently. My general reading regimen for several years has been to read a Psalm and a chapter of Proverbs and part of a devotional book every morning. I just finished Future Grace, by John Piper, and have started The Cost of Discipleship, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, for my morning book. Until February I routinely listened to an audio book whenever I drove somewhere by myself. This year I decided to reserve that for long trips so I've mostly been listening to music in the car. I'm excited about my upcoming trip to Kentucky and Tennessee because I'll get to listen to audio books again (among other much more significant reasons, of course). For the last two-three years I've been reading epic poetry at lunch time. I've been following a more-or-less chronological path through the western epic poetry tradition. I'm about to reread Dante's Divine Comedy. Before going to bed I read the daily selection from the one year Bible and part of another book. Often my night book is something chosen seasonally. I read something about the incarnation or life of Jesus for Christmas. Something about the atonement and/or resurrection around Easter. I might read something about sin or holiness for Lent. For several years I've attempted to work a book on the Holy Spirit in for Pentecost, but I've only managed this once. Currently I'm reading Piper's book A Hunger for God as my bedtime book. I also try to read several other books as well. I usually have a fiction book I'm working on, The Two Towers currently. I try to read something work related fairly regularly. The last three months that has alternated between something about job searching/finding who you are and something related to libraries or information science. I've almost always got several reading projects up in the air.

Recently I started journaling thoughts and interesting quotations from my morning and evening readings. I write down a summary and a verse or thought that sticks out from whatever my scripture reading is and I write down significant quotes from my devotional books. I've also been keeping a journal of whatever else I did during the day and other things read or watched. That accounts somewhat for my absence from the poor neglected blog. I've really enjoyed this practice and am curious to see how it holds up when I get back to work.

Anyway since I'm doing all this reading and writing I thought I'd reinstitute my verse/quote of the day practice. I might also try again to put up short reviews of the books I read but that might be too much. If I do that I'll try to warn you so you can skip on to whatever interesting might happen around here. So without further ado, I give you...

Verse of the day:
"The fear of others lays a snare
But one who trusts in the LORD is secure." Prov. 29:25 (NRSV)

Double-dip Quote of the Day:
"When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die. It may be a death like that of the first disciples who had to leave work and home to follow him, or it may be a death like Luther's, who had to leave the monastery and go out into the world. But it is the same death every time--death in Jesus Christ, the death of the old man at his call."

"The yoke and burden of Christ are his cross. To go one's way under the sign of the cross is not misery and desperation, but peace and refreshment for the soul, it is the highest joy. Then we do not walk under our self-made laws and burdens, but under the yoke of him who knows us and who walks under the yoke with us. Under his yoke we are certain of his nearness and communion. It is he whom the disciple finds as he lifts up his cross."

Both of those are from chapter 4 of The Cost of Discipleship, "Discipleship and the Cross". I really wanted to just quote the whole chapter.

In a completely unrelated note I took applications to several local bookstores today and had encouraging interactions at three of them (nothing wrong with the others, just no news). Between these and the registrar job I mentioned in the previous post, I might have good job news next week.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

General Update

Used to be Colonel Update but got promoted. Applied for job in local college Registrar office. Might hear something. Up to the usual, mostly reading, watching t.v., youth ministry, and small group. Not much exciting going on here this month. Heading to the south side of Chicago for a short mission trip this weekend. Heading down to Kentucky and Tennessee for the Extreme Build and visiting on the 5th. Sentence fragments as least as much fun as run-ons.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Updating Again

I'll use punctuation this time. I, might? even/ use-it properly! as the pos,t goes on.

Another two weeks have passed. I don't have a job but am applying for an interesting position at a local high school doing original and copy cataloging for their library. Otherwise I'm still looking. Thanks to Jenn and Matt for the USAjobs suggestion. I haven't checked it out yet but will tomorrow or Tuesday. I'm having a bit of trouble in that I don't really feel the sense of urgency I should. I like being laid back but usually it's a bit too much.

I had a good time travelling with Matt and Rebekah down to Elkhart, Indiana for the Chicago Area Theological Library Association Spring meeting at Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary. The theme of the meeting was "Library as Place". We heard a report on an ongoing research project about student use of seminary libraries and the plans for an addition to the Library at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne. That also led into a discussion of reading as a practice and the future of printed books. In the afternoon we heard a presentation on the new library at AMBS. It is a green building (not in the same sense as a "blonde house", but environmentally speaking). We had done a presentation for the Trinity library staff last year on trends in library buildings and I had done some research on the AMBS library then, but wasn't able to do a tour at that time. It was nice to see the building and what they had done. You can read about it here.

I mentioned somewhere that I'm auditing a course at Trinity College, History of Middle Earth, with Dr. Steve Fratt. For that we've read the Silmarillion and the Lord of the Rings with a lot of reference to Karen Fonstad's Atlas of Middle Earth. Tolkien said that he was attempting to invent a mythology for the English and we've been trying to approach our discussions as though we were reading actual ancient histories. It says something about his work of world building that people believe it passionately enough to try to argue and puzzle out ways in which it can consistently hold together. We've also been playing a number of games. Dr. Fratt is developing a set of games based on the battles of Beleriand in the Silmarillion and game versions of the Battle of the Hornburg and the Battle of the Pelennor fields from LotR. On Monday night we'll be playing his version of The War of the Ring which covers most of the events from LotR after the Council of Elrond. Last Monday we went as a class to the archives at Marquette University in Milwaukee where they have Tolkien's original manuscripts for LotR and the Hobbit, as well as other bits of Tolkiana. I had seen a lot of this collection when they held a museum exhibit at Marquette's art museum a few years ago. Still it was cool to see it again and to hear archivist Matt Blessing's presentation. We saw a number of manuscripts and lots of original artwork. Often when Tolkien was dealing with a knotty problem in the story he would map it out and it was fun to see these maps, including the original map of Erebor from The Hobbit. It was a good time also to fellowship with Dr. Fratt and my classmates on the ride up and walking around Milwaukee.

As I said, the rest of life is going well. Several of the youth went on Wednesday to set up bedding at a homeless shelter before our group meeting while others of us stayed back at the church and prepared bag meals for the homeless. My adult small group is nearing the end of our study of the book of Romans and our church just had a really awesome missions Sunday this morning. Yesterday I attended a session at Trinity for alumni and this springs grads focusing on resumes and job searching and in the afternoon I went to a Christian Youth Theatre production of The Wizard of Oz that some kids I know are in. I'm getting to do lots of reading and t.v. watching and am generally enjoying myself. Steve was sick this weekend but it appears not to have been H1N1 flu and I didn't pick any of it up myself.

That'll do. Maybe next time we'll try a sentence fragment update.