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Showing posts from August, 2016

job hunting

I am on the hunt for a job. PhD in hand, I am a theologian for hire. The thing is, not a lot of places are hiring theologians these days, and if they are, they are usually looking for scholars with skills and experience outside my area of expertise. Today I found job opportunities for those knowledgeable in Religion, Race, and Colonialism, Philosophy and History of Religion, Islam and Society, Languages of Late Antiquity, Religion, Ethics, and Politics, and an ad for a Molecular Genetic Pathologist. Not one posting for a Dramatic Theologian with  a side order of Spirituality and a dash of Methodology.

I know, I know. My expectations are a bit unrealistic if I believe I will find an exact match for my particular skills. I know that job descriptions are wish lists to some extent, so no candidate is ever a perfect match. I also realize that one must adapt one's skill set according to the requirements of the job and be flexible. But there are so few jobs which come within ten or even…

why we run

I have been watching the Olympics for the past week and a half and there have been some truly inspirational moments, moments which made me stand up and cheer, moments which caused a swell of emotions in my chest, moments which left me speechless, on my feet in front of the television. For me, it is not the best performances which are memorable, but the inspiring stories of the athletes. I mention only a few here.

Simone Biles, a dynamic gymnast from the USA, has won four gold medals in Rio. She is gymnastics phenom: powerful, composed, and consistent. What some might not know is that her childhood was anything but promising: her mother had substance abuse issues and her father abandoned the young family. After bouncing around in foster care, Simone was adopted by her grandparents when she was six.

Yursa Mardini, a promising swimmer, grew up in Damascus. After their house was destroyed in the civil war, she and her sister decided to flee Syria. A year ago, they were smuggled onto a bo…

the sound of two small coins

I have a love/hate relationship with hospitality. In theory, I love opening my home and my table to friends and strangers, and in the process of preparation, whether that be cleaning bathrooms and floors, converting my office into a guest bedroom, or buying and preparing food, I am mindful to prepare my heart as well, to create a space where people are welcome. I do this because I realise that I am a constant recipient of God's gracious hospitality, that I have been warmly embraced by a heavenly Father, and that there is a seat at the feast of Jesus always available to me. And yet, because I am a person of limited resources and social energy, my hospitality, when stretched to its limits, begins to look more like resentful hostility. I hate it when that happens.

We came back from a wonderful, whirlwind tour of Europe last week. The people who had been staying in our condo while we were gone remained with us for another week after we returned home. A day after they left, another s…