Thursday, November 29, 2012

Expanding Connections

Sharing exciting news from my life - 

BETHANY, OK (November 28, 2012) – Dr. Marty Alan Michelson continues as a Professor at Southern Nazarene University as he engages new opportunities for SNU School of Theology and Ministry students. Dr. Jerry Pattengale, nationally-engaged educator & scholar and Director of the Green Scholars Initiative, announced that Dr. Michelson was selected to serve as the Coordinator of Jewish Scrolls for the world’s largest privately held collection of ancient texts related to the Bible, the Green Collection

(Article continues at link.) 

Pictured From Left to Right, -  Marty Michelson, Cary Summers, Rivka Kidron and Jerry Pattengale in the office where Current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with the leaders of the Israeli Government.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Faithful Friendship

A friend from my childhood now lives in South-East Asia.

We've been in contact via social media - but have only seen each other one day, for a few hours, in the past 20 years.

This past week he spent a few hours of his day - using a few dollars of his funds - to help me with a project that had to be completed on my behalf in Bangkok, Thailand.

Out of his kindness - he invested his time and funds to help me - with no thought of return for himself - there was "nothing in it" for him.

I'm thankful for friendship like that, and thankful for this friend.

I'm thankful for friendship in many places and regions of the world.

And I'm hopeful to be this kind of friend for others, too!

Thanks Barry!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

On Career Moves & "loosened soil"

An influential leader of an important evangelical movement, is changing jobs. 

I love the language, as well as the sense of  grace & providence,  revealed in his departure announcement.  I hope to be as discerning & aware - and available to God's direction.

"Earlier this year in January and February, I began to have a sense that God was loosening the soil around the roots of our lives," wrote Birdsall in an announcement. "It seemed like it might be a year or two early for a change. However, I have always thought I would rather leave a year or two too early than to stay a year or two too long. I have always wanted to respond to God's leading and to make moves only when they were by divine appointment."
Link to full announcement of Birdsall's resignation the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Life's Meaning

A few weeks ago - a man I have known for a decade, passed away.  As an African American, he worked as a young person with various components of the Civil Rights movement.  He went on to distinguish himself with an earned Ph.D., and various forms of Civic and Government work. 

Committed to his African heritage, as an adult he changed his name from a common American name, a "Joe Smith,” to an indigenous name deeply rooted in African History.

Last week, as I drove by his house, I witnessed agents of his estate clearing items from his home.  His diplomas from several schools lay in discarded debris, clearly set out as trash.  His legal American name, given to him at birth, had been delicately replaced with his indigenous name on each document, many years before.  

I stood for several minutes, debating if I should retrieve the certificates from the rubbish pile, even as I realized I had no “use” for them – and I would not “display” them – nor need their credentialing authority. 

All of our things for all of our lives, ultimately will end up in some trash heap.  Very, very, very few things last through time – from any persons in history.  This important sonnet by Percy Shelley, Ozymandias, captures the inevitable decline of all our achievements.  

I wonder today:

  • What am I acquiring or achieving that will outlast me? 
  • Will my life have meaning beyond the diplomas on my wall, the items I acquire, or the work that I accomplish in the short run?
  • How can my life have meaning and value that lasts beyond my existence?

I humbly submit – I have no “new thing” to offer the world.  I have no new wisdom.

And yet, I do not see life as a meaningless void.  

I can & will live in service to others, in the hope & belief that my life’s conversation & contribution & charitable aid, small though it may be – will help others toward a better future for all that lives and breathes and moves in Creation.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Airport Security & Peace

Passing through Airport security at Israel's Ben-Gurion airport . . .  and a lovely and gracious Hebrew University female Security employee helped me negotiate some curious shaped items I had packed.

She treated me with grace, kindness and a smile.  And I hope to have treated her with as much grace and kindness.

I'm reminded that peace starts in our daily conversations - with affirmations of care - with faces that demonstrate kindness and smiles.

She spoke excellent English - but even if we had not used words at all, I am certain I would have sensed her kindness.

Simple interactions remind me about the possibilities of a more peace-able world!

Thanks, M***r, for your assistance with my Torah Scroll items!