For quite a few years I've used the label for myself of "Johannes factotum" - an intentionally erudite way to suggest I'm more than a simple "jack-of-all-trades" - but not so uppity or arrogant to make the claim that I'm a "Renaissance Man." (One of my colleagues a few years ago said I was a Renaissance Man . . . I laughed! ha!)
I do, though, try to work at developing new skills, always reading, always thinking, always trying to do something I've not done.
I was thinking about my past week in this way. Among the daily pursuits of my week from the past seven days I have done all of the following:
- Proctored Oral exams over the Deuteronomistic History - including learner engagement with my book discerning issues about Kingship in Ancient Israel.
- Helped a former student and now life-long friend fix the leak under her sink, using my PEX line plumbing tools (and experience) that her dad didn't have to finish the job.
- Proctored oral exams for competence in sight reading passages from the Hebrew Bible - including Jonah in Hebrew, specifically.
- Stitched and repaired holes in a denim chair we own (minor upholstery work) - and, sewed on my new sewing machine, from scratch (a single yard of fabric) a skirt for my lovely bride. (Cost: 40 cents of fabric bought at Goodwill and $1.29 worth of elastic from Hobby Lobby.)
- Read Kenneth Paul Kramer's excellent text: Martin Buber's Spirituality. (Review forthcoming.)
- Facilitated team meetings with two separate proteges who want to engage more in shared collaborative work that puts solidarity in action - Josiah and Joseph - through the Eupan Global Initiative.
- Helped my neighbor, with my tools, to disassemble the blade from his lawnmower and attach the replacement blade.
- Participated in and engaged the Ladd Lectures (and lecturer) on "Why is it so hard to behave ethically?"
- Helped our son learn how to complete a Lube-Oil-Filter on a vehicle, including completing the job on my 1993 GMC pick-up.
- Engaged an Emerging Leaders meeting with Faculty Colleagues at SNU.
- Announced via my employer, great collaborative work in partnered engagement with pastors engaging life-long learning and pastoral excellence.
- Planted my Tomato plants (Small garden this year, again - for numerous reasons - trying a new gardening method - Straw Bale Gardening.)
- Engaged with Faculty in an Academic Council meeting at SNU, determining numerous issues of course curriculum with faculty colleagues across departments.
- Taught online in the field of Psychology and Counseling for Indiana Wesleyan University, through their Parish Nursing Certificate.
- Peeled potatoes while working with my lovely bride in our kitchen as she prepared home-made Potato Soup - and used the peels to fertilize the garden.
- Met with a young, developing Graduate student to engage his ability, at his request, to think about being more productive in life. I shared what I know (and try to practice) from David Allen's - Getting Things Done - including numerous links from Lifehack. And, a great podcast I had engaged on GTD and Tribal Leadership - connected to other work I'm doing with Cultural Architecture.
- Took each of our girls (and a school friend) out for an individual lunch-date with Dad.
- Taught each of my scheduled courses and engaged learners - Old Testament Literature & Life, Biblical Hebrew, The Former Prophets, and Methods in Biblical Study.
- We made an offer to purchase some additional rental properties, to add to the ones we already own and manage in the Oklahoma City area.
- Blogged about events shaping our world through efforts connected with the Eupan Global Initiative
- Met individually in counsel with a young Theology and Ministry major who is trying to discern his life's pastoral direction, as he engages his own experiences of lament.
- Read several entries from great scholars and friends in the Nazarene world - through Didache: Faithful Teaching. Thanks especially to great articles by David Ackerman, Laura Felleman, and Gift Mtukwa.
- Helped a close friend walk through a house she wants to buy - pointing out issues to be mindful of with what I do know about plumbing, electrical, tile work, painting, drywall.
- Engaged (and will blog later about) a fantastic program on Faith and String Theory - from the On Being Public Radio Podcast - entitled Uncovering the Codes of Reality with Physicist James Gates.
- I walked on my office-self-created-Treadmill desk nearly everyday while replying to emails or blogging or working, getting my exercise as I work.
- Rode my bike to school each day - and took my Dad's 1966 Mustang Convertible for an evening ride!
- This next week I'm editing the book I'm writing on Deuteronomy 6 - over the importance of the Shema for discerning life.
- The week after next, I'll be at the Quetzal Education Research Center, located in San Gerardo de Dota, Costa Rica, teaching on Biblical Theology and Global Stewardship.
In some ways, though - I wish I had less varied things going on - and a few other "bigger" projects and bigger goals that I could commit my life's work to! I continue to develop multiple skills and read, write, and think intentionally. And, I continue to hope and pray that all this work will come together and synthesize for the Church - the focus of my life's call.
With each book I read, every exam I proctor, each pipe I fix, every moment with family, each conversation I engage, and every seed I plant, my daily prayer has been for many years - and continues to be . . .
"Lord, help me to be a person who is faithful and honest, kind and true, gracious and generous - a person who reflects and embodies the life of God's Kingdom."