Friday, April 06, 2007

Cortney Haley in Greece and Turkey

Good friend, and Nexus Church member, Cortney Haley was part of a tour group last month (March '07) that went to the Mediterranean and followed Paul's missionary journeys. She has posted photos and comments of her trip HERE.

I especially LOVE the shots of the baptismal pool at Philippi! So much symbolism - the running water, the steps down and back up, the narrowing/widening channel... (OK, so it turns my crank as an Early Church historian - YMMV.)

Thanks for sharing Cortney!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Article on John's Gospel

In conjunction with some freelance writing I have been doing for DisciplesWorld Magazine I was asked to offer reflections on a few books of the Bible. Their project began in Genesis and has been going on every month for a few years. April's edition highlights the Gospel of John and mine is the second reflection on this page. An overview article and two summary articles are offered for each book. It is a really interesting series - you can go back and browse old issues too.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Homeless Families in the US

Two of my latent passions are photography and journalism. I finished high school (20 years ago!) looking toward a career in this field but was diverted by joining the Navy to become a machinist on a nuclear submarine. (Huh?) Yeah, a big divergence.

I've done some writing for religious journals recently and have stayed active in photography but haven't pursued them together.

On March 21, 2007 I had the opportunity to take part in a "24 hours" project for photography. I turned the occasion into a self-assigned photo essay on homeless families. The full story and selected photos can be found HERE.

I'm grateful to the people and leadership of my congregation, Nexus Church, who graciously gave me the day off to pursue this opportunity. I am blessed to have the support of these people in documenting the needs and work of social justice in our communities as part of my ministry.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Roots of learning

One morning last week I was watching my one-year-old, Gus, as he explored his room. He made his way over to the spring-ey door stopper mounted on the wall.

He pulled it to the side - "thwoongggggg" - it bobbled back and forth. "Thwong... thwong... thwong thwong thwong thwong thwong." OK, Gus processed, "When I pull this thing to the side it goes back and forth for a while then stops."

Next he pushed the door against the stopper - "bump!" - but no "thwong."

So back to pulling the stopper to the side - "Thwong... thwong... thwong thwong thwong thwong thwong."

Another shot at pushing the door against the stopper - "bump!"

And so it went for about two minutes. Finally, he grabbed the stopper and pulled the spring straight out and let it spring back - "bump." Then to the side, "thwong." Then straight again - "bump." Then to the door again - "bump!"

Aha! Gus figured out how springs work - when forced from the side they "spring" when pulled straight out and released they return to their original place.

The next thing he did totally amazed me - Gus crawled to his crib and compressed one of the springs on the rail stopper and let it go - "bounce!" up the metal rail and back down. He did this again and again - and then back to the door - "thwong" - "bump."

Two springs, similar but different responses. The neural pathways have started to fill in through this amazing experience of physical properties.

Is this not the "essence of learning" based in experience and cross-reference? It made me realize that sometimes we believe a lot without ever really learning it for ourselves. So much of what we are taught as "truth" (i.e. dogma and doctrine) has been certified from the outside but has no expression in reality and no root of experience or self/group learning.

Sometimes you have to crawl around with the babies to learn something essential.