Starting with (my) WHY? 3

Have you heard of the Golden Circle? Simon Sinek described what he called “The Golden Circle” in a TED Talk on marketing and his subsequent book with the title: “Start with Why”.  It’s a simple insight, and certainly not new (as Sinek himself admits). See at the end of this post for a video of Sinek’s TED talk. Yes, I know it’s blue in the graphic below. Next time I’ll make it golden. 🙂     WHAT? Most people, Sinek says, start with the WHAT of a project or task or life vocation. What are we making or doing? The WHAT […]

Periscoping Pericopes

Last spring Twitter came out with a new app called “Periscope.” If I believed in the fates, I’d suggest that this new application was built just for me. I have begun Periscoping Pericopes on Monday afternoons. Every Monday afternoon—at least for the next four months—I’ll be Periscoping a Pericope. Here’s what that’s about: What’s a Pericope? I’ve been teaching Biblical Studies professionally here and there for, gasp!, almost 35 years now. One of the things we “professional” Bible people talk about is pericopes. That’s fancy-talk for “Bible passage.” (This is how you know someone is a professional: They use fancy-talk […]

Playdates with Scripture

I’m in a group online that talks a lot about making “things.” Members of the group crochet and knit, paint, create delicate paper sculptures, do performance art, draw cartoons, play the kazoo, make beautiful postcards and send them out to strangers, create astonishing costumes for themselves … All kinds of things. It’s wonderful to see the imagination alive. I like to make things, too. I’ve had a macrame phase (years and years ago), needlework, a make-a-meditation-fountain period, a long obsession with strawbale and cob houses that never got built. My fiction-writing comes out of this drive to “make a thing.” These […]

The Three Hebrew Children

For Freedom! 5

For Freedom On May 22, 2015, I was the preacher for the Baccalaureate Service for the 2015 graduates of New Brunswick Theological Seminary…an honor bestowed on me by the students. The purpose of education, I asserted, was For Freedom, and I asked the graduates, “So are you freer today than you were when you started down this road?” The story of the Hebrew children in the fiery furnace demonstrates not just gumption but true freedom: “We will not bow down!” they said. I wandered from the three boys to Martin Luther King, Jr., to Shakespeare’s Othello and the villainous “friend,” Iago; […]

The Story-Teller

I am a teller of familiar tales.  I sit upon this jagged rock, high above the ancient story.  Who am I? The old virile man trudged up the mount, each step a sacrifice belaboured with a trust miscarried.  Time to time he laid his hand against the knife buckled to his side, each brush of fingers against the hilt, unwanted test of faith.  Anger at this fierce request.  Those year-torn promises, stars and sand, denied in this.  Each trudging step a heavy plod into the dark necessity of life.  A life, unmolded to desire, compressed instead to duty’s call.  Each […]