Sunday, June 17, 2018

What does the Bible verse Jeff Sessions quoted really mean?


Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. - Romans 13:1-7

(CNN) — It's been called one of the most important and most misunderstood passages in the Bible: Romans 13:1-7. 

"The most historically influential paragraph Paul ever wrote," in the words of one scholar

Likely written by the Apostle Paul around 57 AD, Romans 13, including the snippet cited by Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday, instructs Christians to submit to "God's servants." That is, the government. 

"Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established," the passage says. "The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves."

Romans 13 has been cited by Nazi sympathizers and apartheid-enforcers, slave owners and loyalists opposed to the American Revolution. Modern Christians have wrestled with how to apply the passage to issues like abortion, same-sex marriage and taxes.

Thursday, Sessions cited Romans 13 to defend the Trump administration's "zero-tolerance" prosecution policy on illegal immigration. In a speech addressed to his "church friends," Sessions said: 

"I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order."

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended Sessions, saying, "It is very biblical to enforce the law." 

In some ways, Sessions' citation of Romans 13 makes sense. Many of the "church friends" to whom the attorney general addressed his speech had quoted scripture to criticize current immigration policies, particularly the separation of children from their parents. 

The Southern Baptist Convention, for example, passed a resolution Tuesday that cited Scripture six times to make the case for immigration reform. (Some Southern Baptists also cited Romans 13 in the controversial decision to allow Vice President Mike Pence to address their annual meeting.) 

But what did Paul really mean when he wrote his letter to the Romans? Should Christians be expected to obey all human laws and cooperate with all regimes? And why would Paul counsel submission to a state power that had executed his savior? 

Here are five ways Christians have tried to answer those questions:

1. The Bible is full of civil disobedience. 

In citing Romans, Sessions made a small but telling slip. He said Paul commanded Christians to "obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them." 

But Romans doesn't quite say that. It says obey the "governing authorities" -- that is, the government, not the laws. You could argue that one implies the other, but the Bible teems with examples of heroes who disobey the law.

Take Daniel, for example, who was thrown to the lions because he wouldn't obey an edict requiring all subjects of King Darius to pray only to him. Daniel went home, threw open the windows for all to see and got on his knees, defying the edict. It was a blatant act of civil disobedience. 

"Whenever laws are enacted which contradict God's law, civil disobedience becomes a Christian duty," the late evangelical eminence John Stott wrote in a Bible study on Romans 13

2. Paul thought Roman spies were reading his letters. 

Big Brother wasn't around in the first century, but life as a Christian, especially a Jewish Christian, wasn't free from state surveillance. 

Just a few years before Paul wrote his letter to the Romans, the empire had expelled Jews from Rome for "rioting at the instigation of Chrestus," according to the Roman historian Suetonius. Some scholars believe Chrestus is a misspelling of Christ. 

It's not too big a stretch to imagine that Paul, writing to a small band of religious subversives in the capital of the empire, would suspect that his letters could fall into imperial hands.

"Paul is probably writing to be read by government officials as well as by the church in Rome," John Piper, an influential evangelical pastor, said in a sermon series on Romans 13

"He knows that this letter will find its way into Caesar's household and into the hands of the civil authorities. He wants them to understand two truths. One is that Christians are not out to overthrow the empire politically by claiming Jesus, and not Caesar, is Lord."

The other thing Paul wants the Romans to know, Piper says, is that their authority is based on God's.

3. Paul was talking about angels, not attorneys general. 

Who, exactly, are the "authorities" that Paul is urging Christians to submit to? 

Oscar Cullman, a New Testament scholar who died in 1999, posed an interesting theory: Paul was talking about cosmic authorities, not civil ones. Or rather, he was talking about both.

As Cullman noted, some early Christians, like some first-century Jews, believed that guardian angels -- "the angels of the nations" -- sat above the earthly rulers, somewhere between God and man. 

In other parts of the New Testament, Paul sometimes using the same Greek word to describe earthly and angelic authorities. 

On a practical level, you could understand why Cullman, a Lutheran who lived in Europe during the rise of Hitler, would be attracted to this idea. It's easier to counsel submission to angels than to Nazis. 

But many scholars have dismissed Cullman's theory, saying the "authorities" in Romans 13 refer to the earthly government. Later in Romans 13, Paul notes that Christians pay taxes to "God's servants" -- and, as we all know, the taxman is no angel. 

4. Paul was worried about a Jewish uprising. 

Much of Paul's letter to the Romans is about Jewish/Gentile relationships. This was a time when Christians were divided about whether "true" Christians had to be one or the other. 

Some Bible scholars theorize that Paul feared Jewish Christians would rebel against the Roman authorities. He had good reason to be worried. Jewish Christians had just been allowed back into Rome after being expelled. A governmental crackdown could have crushed the small and fractious Christian community. 

"Paul was not attempting in Romans 13:1-7 to write out a manifesto for Church-State relations for the next two or three millennia," writes Matthew Neufeld, a Mennonite scholar. 

"His concern was pastoral and local. ... Paul was advising against anti-Roman and Palestinian nationalist sentiments among the Jewish Christians in Rome."

5. Paul was being ironic. 

At first glance, writes British scholar T.L. Carter, Romans 13 may look like "an embarrassingly unqualified endorsement of the political status quo." 

But Paul was likely aware of the Jewish expulsion from Rome, as well as other persecutions, Carter argues. So it's hard to fathom why he would portray the government as divinely sanctioned.

Paul's praise for government authority so over the top, it's possible that he meant to be ironic, Carter says. In other words, Romans 13 is not praise, it's a cleverly disguised critique. 

"By using the technique of irony, Paul was able to express his criticism without fear of repercussions from the authorities, who may have been oblivious to the disparity between the ideal he portrays and the reality of their government." 

Carter acknowledges that his interpretation is somewhat idiosyncratic. Many Christians take a more straightforward reading of Romans 13, even as they struggle to apply to modern life. 

"It is only a slight exaggeration to say that the history of the interpretation of Romans 13:1-7," says New Testament scholar Douglas Moo, "is the history of attempts to avoid what seems to be its plain meaning."

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Moment of Zen: Pride


From BosGuy:

Pride is much more than parties and parades. What I think some people fail to recognize is in the face of hostility, legislated discrimination and violence, focusing on love and celebrating that love can be a far more effective tonic than channeling negative emotions. That is why Pride is and always will be at its core a political message: We’re here and we’re not going anywhere. #KillTheCloset

Friday, June 15, 2018

The Search



Another exhausting week has gone by. It’s finally Friday. I’ve been job searching since around the end of October last year. I think that’s the most exhausting thing. It seems like a never ending search. I find plenty of jobs that I’m qualified for, but they just don’t pan out. Then there are jobs that I’m perfect for, but they don’t pan out. Right now it seems like there is no end in sight, and I’m exhausted. I want a good job I’ll enjoy. I don’t want to have to settle for something. I know I may have to. Ideally, I’d love a job in the South, preferably in a progressive city (yes, they do exist), and a job I’d enjoy. I pray that it will happen but so far nothing has come along. I will just keep searching and keep hoping. It’s all I can do at this point. The only other option is for there to be some rich man out there who’d love to take care of a 40 year old, sweet and kind, intellectual.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Interview


The interview seemed to go really well yesterday. Although, I thought the same thing about the New Mexico job, but I haven’t heard back from them. The job interview yesterday went pretty smoothly though. I totally blanked on the name of some software I use, but I don’t think that’s a big problem. They said that they genuinely enjoyed talking to me, that it was a joy to talk to someone else in the trenches of the oral history world. So now I wait and see.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Big Day


I had one of my headaches last night, so I’m going to make this short. I have my performance evaluation today at work. I hope that goes well, just because I like to do well, not because it matters worth a damn. It doesn’t. I will be gone in less than six months. Also, tomorrow after work, I have a job interview with a very prestigious school on the west coast (think of a giant tree). It’s for another oral history position, but at least this time they are upfront about it being a three year position.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

I saw in Louisiana a live-oak growing


I saw in Louisiana a live-oak growing
by Walt Whitman

I saw in Louisiana a live-oak growing,
All alone stood it and the moss hung down from the branches,
Without any companion it grew there uttering joyous leaves of dark
green,
And its look, rude, unbending, lusty, made me think of myself,
But I wonder’d how it could utter joyous leaves standing alone there
without its friend near, for I knew I could not,
And I broke off a twig with a certain number of leaves upon it, and
twined around it a little moss,
And brought it away, and I have placed it in sight in my room,
It is not needed to remind me as of my own dear friends,
(For I believe lately I think of little else than of them,)
Yet it remains to me a curious token, it makes me think of manly love;
For all that, and though the live-oak glistens there in Louisiana solitary
in a wide flat space,
Uttering joyous leaves all its life without a friend a lover near,
I know very well I could not.



Monday, June 11, 2018

Monday, Monday


I was a bit lazy most of the weekend. I did a little house cleaning, but should have done more. I did go to an art opening Friday night which was fun. Some of the art was quite beautiful. I also did a little networking for museum jobs.

This week will probably be a doozy like last week. It’s the first week for our new director. I have a dentist appointment this afternoon that I’m not looking forward to. I really hate going to the dentist. Then on Wednesday, I have my yearly evaluation, with our old interim director. There is no reason to be dreading this but I am. I never much liked our interim director and he always treats me like a third wheel. Hopefully, it will all go smoothly, and like the dentist today, I can cross that off my list of things to dread.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Charity


And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. (KJV) ( 1 Corinthians 13:2 ) 

We often think if only I were more witty, if I had more intelligence, if I were more attractive, my life would be much different.  If we actually matched our ideal qualities but failed to grow a love for others, it would all be pointless.  Paul even says if he had all the faith in the world, he would be nothing if he didn't love others.  Do you spend more time thinking about self-improvement or on growing your love for others more?  


Friday, June 8, 2018

TGIF


It’s been quite a week. I have a new boss. I’ve finally finished my two online classes, at least I hope I’ve finished with them both. The museum studies class was fun and interesting. The adjunct instructor class was a pain in the butt. After all that I have gone through to teach adjunct at this college, I’d better be hired. I’ve done well on all the other assignments, so I hope I did well on the last one. I know I did well in my museums studies class. I have a 100 average in that class. I’ve already signed up for class two in my museum studies class.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

New Boss


There were three men up for the position of director. Of the three, my least favored got it. He’s been my coworker and now he’ll be my boss. I don’t know how all of this is going to work out. I actually advocated against him getting the position. I hope he doesn’t find that out. It’s supposed to be kept confidential, but one never knows. Anyway, changes are coming to my office. We have to also hire a new secretary. So far the applicants aren’t looking good. I hope the right person does apply for it, and they will be someone easy to work with. However, the way my luck is going, it will be the one I want least.

I still haven’t heard back from any jobs. I’m hoping that I will soon, but I’m losing hope. I so want out of Vermont. There just isn’t anything here for me.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Experience



Experience
Carl Sandburg, 1878 - 1967

This morning I looked at the map of the day
And said to myself, “This is the way! This is the way I will go;
Thus shall I range on the roads of achievement,
The way is so clear—it shall all be a joy on the lines marked out.”
And then as I went came a place that was strange,—
’Twas a place not down on the map!
And I stumbled and fell and lay in the weeds,
And looked on the day with rue.

I am learning a little—never to be sure—
To be positive only with what is past,
And to peer sometimes at the things to come
As a wanderer treading the night
When the mazy stars neither point nor beckon,
And of all the roads, no road is sure.

I see those men with maps and talk
Who tell how to go and where and why;
I hear with my ears the words of their mouths,
As they finger with ease the marks on the maps;
And only as one looks robust, lonely, and querulous,
As if he had gone to a country far
And made for himself a map,
Do I cry to him, “I would see your map!
I would heed that map you have!”


Monday, June 4, 2018

Sick


I was sick yesterday and forgot to write a post for today.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Spirit Renew


And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; (KJV) ( Ephesians 4:23 ) 

Do you ever feel like you are stuck in your thoughts, they seem to be cyclical returning to the same point?  Perhaps you are battling anxiety that chokes, or building an argument in your head to justify your anger, or you are stuck in the rut of self-victimization.  Each of these are attitudes do not reflect our identity as a cherished child of God.  He has the power, through the Spirit, to change the way you think and feel.  Call on Him in prayer to renew your mind. 


Friday, June 1, 2018

Quote of the Day


“And then, one fairy night, May became June.”


The Beautiful and the Damned, F. Scott Fitzgerald


Back to Work



After three days in Boston for work (and a little play), I have to go back to my regular desk job today. To be honest, I don’t really want to. I’m ready to move on from this job. The interviews are over with, and soon so will the transcription of the interviews. Next is just the aggravating website and the book. The book I don’t mind. The biggest aggravation is getting people to sign off on their oral histories. People don’t take it as the priority that it is and they drag their feet. I wish I could make them all understand that it all ends in October. I need the material now so that I can complete my job.

Anyway, that being said, here is something off subject. The restaurant that I mentioned yesterday but failed to name was Tuscano in Harvard Square.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Yummy!



Yesterday’s two interviews went exceptionally well. As I said yesterday, I expected the second guy to be good looking. He was gorgeous and had the bluest eyes.

The highlight of my day though was dinner. I started out with a nice Prosecco Bollicini and an insalate Tricolore (Baby arugula, Radicchio, and Endive with olive oil and balsamic). Then with my meal of risotto frutti di mare, I had Vermentino Banfi La Pettegoia, a wonderful Tuscan white wine. For dessert I had the Tiramisu with an aperitif of lemoncello. I haven’t had a meal this good since I was in Italy itself.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

A Room with a View


As I said yesterday, I’m in Boston for work until Thursday. I’m staying in Cambridge, and I have a beautiful view from my 7th floor room. My room overlooks the Charles River, and it also as a view of downtown Boston. The Charles River is my favorite view because of the boats going down the river and the hot men running or bicycling by the river. The last time I was in Boston for any length of time for 10-12 years ago when I was in graduate school and came to Boston for dissertation research. Back then I also stayed in Cambridge near the Charles River, though I was closer to Harvard then. Also, it was February and the river was frozen over. I remember just how cold it was that year.

Today, I have an interview scheduled with a prominent business man in Boston who is an alumni of the university where I work. I then have another interview this evening with a young teacher who is also an alumni. I was able to look the younger guy up in the yearbooks and back when he graduated a few years ago, he was quite good looking. I hope both of these interviews go well.  Then on Thursday, I will head home, though I may do a little sightseeing before I go.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Boston


Boston 
Aaron Smith

 I’ve been meaning to tell

you how the sky is pink

here sometimes like the roof

of a mouth that’s about to chomp

down on the crooked steel teeth

of the city,


I remember the desperate 

things we did

                and that I stumble

down sidewalks listening

to the buzz of street lamps

at dusk and the crush

of leaves on the pavement,


Without you here I’m viciously lonely


and I can’t remember 

the last time I felt holy,

the last time I offered

myself as sanctuary


*


I watched two men 

press hard into

each other, their bodies

caught in the club’s

bass drum swell,

and I couldn’t remember

when I knew I’d never

be beautiful, but it must 

have been quick

and subtle, the way

the holy ghost can pass

in and out of a room.

I want so desperately

to be finished with desire,

the rushing wind, the still

small voice.



I will be in Boston most of this week for work, and I thought this was an appropriate poem to use. The imagery in this poem is quite interesting to me, especially the last stanza about the two men and the poets perception of self beauty, or lack there of.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Memorial Day


Let us never forget the sacrifices of the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

A Quiet Place


And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat. (KJV) ( Mark 6:31 ) 

This is always a busy time of year with graduations, visiting family, and working hard. We get focused, hustling and bustling about with little time for eating that we exhaust ourselves. It's important to go off to a quiet place to recharge yourself and rest awhile. Such a time is necessary to find rest in Jesus. When you sneak away, bring a verse with you to meditate and mull over. Perhaps it's only 15 minutes, but the peace you will find is like none other. Come and find rest in Him. 


Friday, May 25, 2018

End of the Week


Thank goodness it’s Friday. The end of the week is finally here. It’s been a busy and tiring week. I’ve completed this week’s coursework for my two classes. I just have to do some commenting on other people’s work, and then I will be finished. I really only have one more week in each class and then the final project in my museum studies class. These two classes have taken up much of my week. I’ll have to buckle down and do some real work tomorrow. I’ve got several things I need to get done, because next week, I will be in Boston. Tuesday through Thursday, I will be conducting my final oral histories. Then, that part of the project will be over with. There is still a lot left to do though. Will I get it all done before my time is up? I doubt it, but I will actually do my best. So tomorrow there is some paperwork to be done and then I have to pack my equipment and get it ready to go. I won’t actually be back in the office until next Friday. Monday is a holiday for us, one of the few that we actually get besides Thanksgiving and Christmas. Anyway, after work tomorrow, I have to go to the doctor for my check-up. I’m not thrilled about going. He’s going to tell me things I already know and say that I need to do better. The good thing is that I am going to ask him about the new migraine prevention medication that has come out. I’d like to see if it could prevent my migraines. Tomorrow is going to be busy.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Pretty Picture


Sometimes, we just need a pretty picture to get us through the day. I have a dental appointment this afternoon, and a doctor’s appointment tomorrow afternoon. I’m not looking forward to either one. So, I just need a pretty picture to get me through the day, and the picture above is just pretty to me. It remind me of a dear friend I lost, but instead of crying now when I think of him, I have fond memories. I hope you all have a wonderful day.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Tired


I don’t mind being a perpetual student. I like learning new things, and I am constantly learning new things in my museum studies class. I enjoy the class, the readings, and the museum visits. My teaching class, however, is a different story. While I am learning a few new things, most of the reading and work is tedious. I guess they want to see just how willing we are to work. Thank goodness, it’s only a three week class. I don’t think I could take much more of it. Currently, we are in week two, and it has gotten even more tedious. I have taken classes on teaching before, but none of them taught me how to conduct an online class. In a way, I guess this class is good for me, but I just wish it wasn’t so...tedious.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Fire and Sleet and Candlelight


Fire and Sleet and Candlelight

 by Elinor Wylie


For this you’ve striven

    Daring, to fail:

Your sky is riven

    Like a tearing veil.

 

For this, you’ve wasted

    Wings of your youth;

Divined, and tasted

    Bitter springs of truth.

 

From sand unslakèd

    Twisted strong cords,

And wandered naked

    Among trysted swords.

 

There’s a word unspoken,

    A knot untied.

Whatever is broken

    The earth may hide.

 

The road was jagged

    Over sharp stones:

Your body’s too ragged

    To cover your bones.

 

The wind scatters

    Tears upon dust;

Your soul’s in tatters

    Where the spears thrust.

 

Your race is ended—

    See, it is run:

Nothing is mended

    Under the sun.

 

Straight as an arrow

    You fall to a sleep

Not too narrow

    And not too deep.


Monday, May 21, 2018

Ohio


I slept much of yesterday, trying to recover from my whirlwind travels. It was a good trip though. The ladies at my conference were very nice (I was one of about a half dozen men there), and my paper was well received. I was worried it might not be “scholarly” enough, but apparently it was.

Saturday, I got to meet one of my blog followers in Columbus. That was a real treat. He was a very nice guy. We went to lunch and he took me to the Wexner Museum. I was glad not to be alone. First, I never would have found the  place since my GPS took me to the hospital. Second, I’m not a big fan of contemporary art, and was happy to have someone to discuss it with. I can’t thank him enough for showing me around.

By the way, Ohio University in Athens is a beautiful campus. Ohio State University is a huge campus. Both though have some cute boys. It’s refreshing to see them run around without their shirts. You rarely see that in Vermont.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

God is at Work


He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end. (KJV) ( Ecclesiastes 3:11 ) 

Jesus is the main character in a story still being told. God’s great work began at creation and continues until the end of time as we know it. Moments of our lives can feel so far from the masterpiece we are promised. Be encouraged, even if you don’t understand it, God’s story is still being told. God is making something beautiful out of you! 


Friday, May 18, 2018

Long Days



I’m exhausted. Yesterday’s trip here was filled with delays. My second plane was delayed nearly an hour, and then when I got to the conference they couldn’t print my parking permit. Ugh! It was just one thing after another.

Today, I present my paper. It’s not until the very last session of the day, so I have lots of time to fret. I also have to be back at the registration lobby at 7:30 am to get my parking permit. Long day.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Crazy Week


This crazy week is starting to come to an end. I fly to Columbus, Ohio, today and drive to Ohio University, which is about an hour and a half away to attend a conference. I’m going to be pushing it a little to get checked in and make it to the dinner. I will miss the wine reception. I’d really wanted to go see the museum where the wine reception was being held. This is a women’s history conference, so I will be one of a few men, if I’m not the only one in attendance. I’m pretty sure that by perusing the program, I am the only man presenting a paper. I hope they go easy on me. At least I’m gay, that should give me some brownie points with all the feminist.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Week Continues


I’m almost finished with this week’s assignments for my teaching class. I’ve finished the readings for my museum class, but I still have the assignments to do. I’m almost completely packed for my trip, I just need to pack my suit, toiletries and medicine. Just a few more things to wrap up then I’ll be off to Ohio on Thursday. It’s been a busy week. I’ve still got a few things at work to finish up before I go. It’s all about finishing things up.

And for something fun, I had a cousin of mine come up to Burlington yesterday; I was able to meet him for breakfast. He’s not a very close cousin, but he’s very cute, and he thinks he’s straight. I believe otherwise. He’s begging me to take him to a gay bar in New Orleans next time I’m back down south. There’s nothing like a “straight” boy going to a gay bar to set him...straight, or should that be set him gay, lol. Anyway, he’s a former student of mine, the only one who knew I was gay. He’s a good kid too. I’ve missed him.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

[Sonnets are full of love, and this my tome]


[Sonnets are full of love, and this my tome]

 

by Christina Rossetti


Sonnets are full of love, and this my tome

      Has many sonnets: so here now shall be

   One sonnet more, a love sonnet, from me

To her whose heart is my heart’s quiet home,

   To my first Love, my Mother, on whose knee

I learnt love-lore that is not troublesome;

   Whose service is my special dignity,

And she my loadstar while I go and come.

And so because you love me, and because

   I love you, Mother, I have woven a wreath

      Of rhymes wherewith to crown your honoured name:

      In you not fourscore years can dim the flame

Of love, whose blessed glow transcends the laws

   Of time and change and mortal life and death.


Monday, May 14, 2018

Beyond Busy


I can’t believe how busy this week is going to be. First, I have my usual work load and class load with my museum studies class. In addition to that, I am starting a new class for Southern New Hampshire University to begin online teaching for them. SNHU requires all online teachers to go through a training course before they can be officially hired and start teaching. I have no idea what to expect from this course or how much actual work it will be. Thankfully it is only for three weeks. On top of all of this, I am presenting a paper at a conference this week and will be gone Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. I’m basically only attending the reception Thursday night, if I can make it there in time. The conference is in Athens, Ohio, but the closest airport is in Columbus, and hour and a half away. My plane arrives at 2:48 and the reception 4, no doubt I will be late for the reception. Then I’ll go to a few sessions during the day on Friday before my session which will be at the end of the day. Saturday, I will head back to Columbus where I plan to visit the Wexner Center for the Arts. This is The Ohio State University’s "multidisciplinary, international laboratory for the exploration and advancement of contemporary art". My museum studies assignment this week is to visit a modern/contemporary art museum. I should have plenty of time Saturday since my plane doesn’t depart until 5:51 pm. It’s going to be a busy, busy week.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Plunge Ahead


A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident. (KJV) ( Proverbs 14:16 ) 

Do you ever get frustrated when your lack of self-control plunges you into danger? Hindsight comes and you kick yourself for being foolish. How do wise people avoid danger? They are aware of their triggers that cause a moment of weakness, such as a being angry. Often they avoid putting themselves in situations that would tempt their recklessness, as a recovering alcoholic avoids bars. Finally, they limit exposure to friends who encourage unwise choices. Which areas in life do you struggle with self-control? 


Friday, May 11, 2018

Yesterday & Today


I had a bad headache yesterday. Hopefully, it will be better today, since I have an interview today. I hate having headaches. I had to go home from work early yesterday. Hopefully, today is a better day and my interview goes well. Wish me luck.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

References



The school I have an interview with on Friday spent the afternoon calling my references. One of the questions they asked was “Would I wear a uniform?” The faculty at this school wears uniforms on a daily basis and has a military rank. I’d be either a captain or major. It all goes with working for a military school. Furthermore, they told each of my references how impressed they were with my application and resume.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Interview



After God only knows how many applications I’ve sent out, I finally got called for an interview. It’s a Skype interview Friday with a military college in the Southwest. I just sent the application last week, so I’m hoping that with them moving on it so quickly, it means they are really interested. It would be back to teaching which I’m okay with, and it would also be a permanent job.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

The Voice of God


The Voice of God

 

 by Crystal Williams


          Poem for Aretha Franklin



when she opens her mouth

our world swells like dawn on the pond

when the sun licks the water & the jay garbles,

the whole quiet thing coming into tune,

the gnats, frogs, the dandelion pollen, the

pebbles & leaves & the whole world of us

sitting at the throat of the jay

dancing in the throat of the jay

all of us on the lip of the jay

singing doowop, doowop, do.

 

 


About This Poem

 

“Many years ago I heard someone describe Aretha Franklin’s voice as the voice of God, which was an amazing thing to say. This meditation is my attempt at understanding why that statement struck me as profoundly true. In the end, Aretha’s voice is an aggregation of the choruses of the natural world—all of their harmony, complexity, and distinctiveness—and it is as close to the divine as I can imagine.”

—Crystal Williams


Monday, May 7, 2018

Normal


This week should largely be back to normal. Last week was quite a whirlwind with the director job candidates on campus for interviews. The search committee will meet today and make their recommendations to the president and provost who will then decide who is ultimately chosen.we have one candidate that seems highly qualified so I am hoping they do the sensible thing and hire him.

This weekend was also a bit of a whirlwind. I went down to Springfield, Massachusetts, to see the Dr. Seuss Museum, which was fantastic and fun, even if it was filled with children. Also, if you’re ever in Springfield, there is a great Italian restaurant called the Red Rose that had the tenderest, most succulent veal piccata I’ve ever eaten. After Springfield, we headed up to Northampton where we stayed the night. We stayed in the beautiful Hotel Northampton, and ate at its Wiggin’s Tavern. I had the salmon over rice pilaf and rainbow carrots. The waitress told us the rainbow carrots were in honor of pride.

Saturday had been Northampton’s Pride celebration so we went to a Pride after party which was supposed to have the drag queen Sherry Vine. Less than two dozen people showed up. The drag show was so bad that everybody left. We didn’t even stick around for Sherry Vine because we were the only two left in the bar. It was a really sad experience. I felt bad for Sherry Vine because no one was there to see her after we left, but I also didn’t want to be the only two people in the audience. I doubt she would have performed for just two people anyway.

Sunday brunch was at Sylvester’s in Northampton. Sylvester’s is a restaurant housed in Sylvester Graham’s House. Sylvester Graham if you didn’t know invented the Graham cracker. I had the Sylvester’s Special which was eggs, bacon, home fries, and toast. It was good but the eggs and home fries needed salt. And then we headed home.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Be Content


Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. (KJV) (Philippians 4:11)

Could you learn to be content without a new car, iPhone, or house?  If we let them, our desires begin to control us with a never ending thirst that can't be quenched.  It is a daily struggle to consistently trust that God will provide for our needs as He has promised.  We can learn to be content when we rely on God's promises daily.  When you find yourself wanting something today, try practicing contentment with what you have.