Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Back in the UA Saddle

I am one of a small percentage of people who really enjoy their work.

I have a very good friend who hated his job and could not wait to retire.  I have been eligible to retire since 2005.  It is unfathomable to my friend that I keep on working.

But, there are lots of reasons I stay on the job:
  • It is a great venue for ministry.
  • I enjoy being around young people with lots of potential and little experience.
  • It is a great opportunity to travel at someone else's expense.
  • I can travel a lot, or travel a little, and it's my choice.
  • The pay is good.
  • The holidays are frequent and long.
  • The job has a lot of variety.
  • I get sent a new "audience" (actually two) every semester.
  • No matter how badly I messed up last term, I get a new try each term.

I feel extremely fortunate to be employed in Higher Ed.  Despite a lawsuit, I have GREATLY enjoyed working at U of AL.

G^d has Blessed me Abundantly.  As David said, upon being designated by Nathan as the Leader of Israel,  "“Who am I, O LORD God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far?"


Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Christ Around the World

Notice the definite article, "the" before "Christ".  Recently I read, on good authority, that lots of folks don't realize what the title, "Christ" means.  The saddest thing I heard was that many folks think it is Jesus' last name!  So, now in speaking or writing, I add the "the" to help folks know that this is HIS title, and His alone.

When worship started in our congregation last Sunday (i.e. we are part of a congregation, which in turn is part of The Church), Brenda remarked, "Wow, we can understand what is being said."

We sincerely appreciate all the translators who made our time at EFS so very enjoyable, but there is nothing like hearing in your own language (see Acts 2:6).

But the Bigger Truth is that around the world, Christians have so much MORE in common than we have differences.  When we came to Sweden, we knew that fellow Christians there shared the same Lord, the same baptism (regardless of nuance), the exact same confession of faith (Apostle's creed), the same communion, the same Savior (or Saviour), and the same HOPE.

When you think about it, that is REALLY GOOD NEWS!!

We miss our congregation in Ostersund, but we rejoice that one day, soon, we'll all be together again!!

Grace and Peace!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sweet Home Alabama

Brenda and I arrived home late on Tuesday 15 May.

We had a smooth, uneventful trip through Stockholm and Chicago.  We were a bit disappointed that everyone seemed in a bad mood, and the Passport Control officer failed to give the common, "Welcome home."  But these minor disappointments were lost in the joy and comfort of returning to the place we have lived longest.

A few things were immediately obvious at the Homestead:
  • Our dear friend, Bobby had neatly trimmed our lawn right before our arrival, which was welcome!
  • The boys, Andrew and David, had made an effort to leave things neat.
  • The shrubs all badly need trimming.
  • The pollen had engulfed the front porch.
When you don't do the little things, from time to time, it really piles up.

So we set to work.  Yesterday, Saturday, we:
  • Replaced the porch carpet, which had gotten badly stained since we left
  • Hauled our the big planters and planted the summer flowers.
  • Cut down the poor old yaupon holly, which seems to have died of old age.
  • Hauled the holly to the curb.
  • Blew the leaves off the roof and out of the gutters.
  • Cleaned up the leaves.
  • Washed 4 autos, one of which was really, really dirty (Andrew and washed the others a few weeks back).
  • Washed off the a/c compressor.
  • Checked the oil in all the autos.
We already miss our good friends in Sweden.  We are fighting the urge to talk, and talk about our experiences there.

The best news of all is:
  • God is Sovereign.
  • He is ever present.
  • He is the ultimate Victor!

Praise be to Him!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Some of you know that Brenda and I have received a Fulbright Fellowship to Botswana.  We will be moving there in Jan 2013 to work at the University of Botswana for 10 months, L^rd willing.

We are trying to learn as much as we can, as quickly as we can.

We have checked out the most important stuff and we are happy to report that there is one Game Reserve within a few miles of the University, and at least 2 more in S. Africa within 50 miles!

My friend, a prof at UA who has a "summer" home in Northern South Africa, speaks very highly of Botswana and the people there.

We're hoping to have a house with a spare bedroom, so start looking at your schedule.

There's a lot to do, and "many a slip between cup and lip", but if G^d wills it (i.e. InshAllah), you may one day have the option of taking a look at a brand new blog.  We will see.

Sweden has been a fun journey and we have met many, many wonderful, beautiful and lovable people.

We praise G^d for his abundant provision for us all.

As should we all!!