Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Random Bits to Round out 2014

I anticipate my best year of life in 2015!

An incredibly busy Fall to Winter 2014.

Built quite a number of workshelves in our new garage - more has been done since the pictures were taken - including peg board installation for tool organization.  I've never had a pegboard for tools.  These pics were some "stags" in the process.  Still a mess in these pics.  Better now!

That project and several in our home, kept me busy.  Completed 800+ sq feet of flooring install, painted every flat surface (including ceilings).  Other yard/house projects, too.

Attended the SBL in San Diego - again, one of the more meaningful events of my year, coupled with great work with the Green Scholars Initiative.

Eldest son and eldest daughter had successful 1st semester's in college!


Engaged three courses that were meaningful to me:

  • “Inspiring Leadership through Emotional Intelligence” Case Western Reserve University, 7 week course taught by Richard Boyatzis.
  • “Successful Negotiation:  Essential Strategies & Skills”  The University of Michigan 6 week course taught by George Seidel.
  •  “Better Leader, Richer Life.”   The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania 6 week course taught Dr. Stewart D. Friedman.  Fall 2014
Listening to:
  • OnBeing podcasts (even archived ones) continue to be some of the most meaningful moments of inquiry in my life.
  • TEDTalks via TED Radio Hour are great.
  • I love the sermons of several friends, especially in this past year, T. Scott Daniels and Kyndall Rae Rothaus whose first book, Preacher Breathe, I read and reviewed.  To be published by SmythHelwys.  It is exceptional.
  • Apostle Paul:  A Polite Bribe by Robert Orlando.  Intriguing.
  • The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown.  Well worth it.
  • Becoming a Resonant Leader by Annie McKee, Richard Boyatzis and Frances Johnston.  Great.
  • Total Leadership by Stewart Friedman.  Good.
  • Leading the Life You Want by Stewart Friedman.  Good.
  • The Gift of Adversity by Norman Rosenthal. Will come back to again for the insight gleaned.
  • The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.
  • Started Roma by Steven Saylor.  It didn't capture me or I was too busy, may come back to it.
  • Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson.  A highlight for the year.
  • The new translation of Gilgamesh by Stephen Mitchell.  His introduction and translation are superb.
  • Reread Linchpin (and many other bits and pieces) by Seth Godin.  His insight is great, but presented in a form that confounds me, and yet, well worth it. 
  • The Story of a Life by Aharon Appelfeld.  A good biography related to the Shoah/Holocaust.
  • Anne Rice's Christ the Lord:  Out of Egypt and Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana add detail and texture to Gnostic gospels suggestions of the life of Jesus.  Causes one to re-imagine and rethink the life of Jesus in new ways which can be incredibly helpful, but may be hurtful too, since it's fictive imagination.
  • Paul Coelho's The Alchemist.  I don't get the hype, at all  Reviews on Amazon summarize it entirely from its 5 star to 1 star ratings.  
  • The Blue Sweater by Jacqueline Novogrotz.  Way, way, way too long and never presented compelling vision/explanation for her patient capitalism.  
  • Malcolm X:  By Any Means Necessary.  I learned much I did not know.
  • Malcolm X by Manning Marable.  Ditto to above - though Manning's work is much longer, I learned much I did not know.
Health & Wellness:

I swim and bike as often as I can.  Usually 2x to 3x per week.  I prefer swimming for exercise, but enjoy biking/hiking/walking for being able to listen to great content while I engage in these forms of exercise.


I finished an audio-conversation series of podcasts for sale and distribution, comprising hundreds of hours of work - on 1st and 2nd Samuel - to be published early 2015.  Titled:  King David & God's People:  An Audio Conversation about the Old Testament.  Not perfect, though I am glad it is completed.


Being a professor continues to be a joy.  I want to be a mentor to young people more than anything else.  A great section of Old Testament Theology - the young people have much to learn, but the class connection was great.  Teaching Hebrew from a new textbook that has been a great choice to help 7 students learn to actually read Biblical Hebrew!


My life with my wife is wonderful.  She is such a delight. She finished her Master's Degree in Management this year - and started full time work offering leadership in Administration and Human Resources with the Museum of the Bible!  So very proud of her.

Our family life is complex with kids in so many places (their own jobs, commutes, social lives, worship experiences) - and yet, things are as great as they have ever been.


I am as deeply committed as ever to being a peacemaker in the service of the Kingdom of God and the integrity of the life of Jesus, even as I work to embrace and expand the horizons of love for the world, to all people.

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