Saturday, August 31, 2013

My Book In Review - on Humility

My first published book was written several years ago for an academic audience.  It was not intended to be perfect nor to reshape the landscape of Biblical studies.

Published originally by Pickwick Press, it was picked up for renewed publication by James Clarke, Co. - Cambridge, it was up for new review by other Scholars.

One reviewer hated it.

A few professional colleagues touched base with me before I had read the review.  The reviewer's critique, in their estimation, went beyond a book review to personal attack.  Being contacted by professional friends before reading the review was nice as it was disappointing to read the biting critique from the reviewer.

I am thankful that I was able to review other Scholarly Reviews of my book in the previous (non-Cambridge) editions.  Others had noted positive points and contributions from my work, alongside their critical review.  A reminder that my work, though imperfect, is not a failure in the perspective of every Scholar.

Perhaps someday I'll have the opportunity to meet the reviewer who hated my work in order to share relational grace and charity with him.  I believe we could be friends.  I read about him on the internet. I believe we share core ideas about the charitable extension of Grace made available to our world.

It's also nice to know that my 2nd Book invites me to look beyond the accolades of the Academy for prestige - as I seek to Love God and Love Others in all that I do.  I'm sure my 2nd book has failings, too . . . and in spite of those typos or errors,  I believe the message of the Greatest Commandment is clear enough for all to discern!

Friday, August 30, 2013

You cannot please all the people all the time.

Of course the expression is tried and true!  "You cannot please all the people all the time."

I just reviewed a class survey completed by the learners from in a course I taught several months ago.  Honestly, I had one person say I was "one of the greatest" teachers they have ever had, and another a "Great Teacher," and another wrote about my quick and generous communication.  It would make me feel only good, except that another learner said I was "too harsh."

I cannot please all the people all the time.

It's a good thing, that I rarely "try" to please people and instead simply try to act consistently with my core values and core hopes for life!  I certainly HOPE people are "pleased" in working with me but I can not control their perceptions and I can only work diligently to as consistently as possible remain consistent in my lifestyle.  My core values include extending peace, opening relationships of reciprocity & grace, extending kindness and enacting justice toward eupan

Those who are close to me know that my daily prayer for myself and my family is that we would become people who are faithful and honest, kind and true, gracious and generous, people who reflect and embody the life of God's Kingdom.

While I am imperfect, my belief and hope is that most who encounter me will see the genuine desires of my life embodied in these ways.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

25 years ago - Me & the Berlin Wall

25 years ago I painted my name on the Berlin Wall (Germany) with the brightest orange-yellow paint I could buy.  (Yes, I was a vandal!)
I went on the last night I was scheduled to be in Berlin at the end of several weeks in Germany.  I concluded that if I got caught, the worst thing they would do would be to "kick me out of the country" - and in that case, I'd be going home anyway. 
I went alone, so that I would not get anyone else from the High-School group in trouble.  
I purchased the paint at the Kaufhaus Des Westens.
When I painted it - I had to jump a small barrier (on the West Side - not East!) between patrols of Jeeps - and paint quickly.
Of course, it wasn't  high level security - based on the fact that the wall was well painted! Still, though, I had to do it between jeep patrols, not knowing if I'd be in trouble as an American teenager at the time! This was done nearly directly behind the Reichstag building - an important historic building that I chose intentionally so I would remember where I did this.
When I was done, I realized I had forgotten my camera!  So, "my mark" on this historic wall - that would be torn down the next year - was lost to to me except in my mind.
Unbeknown to me - another Marty took a picture with my name before East Germany opened up and the wall was dismantled, that same summer.

In the curious connectedness of the internet, in 2009, a friend of that other Marty googled my name . . . and sent me this picture - that the other Marty took in 1988!  
No way! I did that!
 Here's a picture of the general location from where the image would have been -