A New Chapter for the New Year

Whew – this is big. I am beginning a new full time position tomorrow with an incredible organization, the Scripps National Spelling Bee. While I am (with many tears) ending my term as Associate Director for the Emerging Scholars Network, InterVarsity has asked me to continue blogging for the Emerging Scholars Blog. I’ve written a very nice letter about my change, so you can read the whole thing right here.

Who Deserves to Be On Jeopardy?

The Chicago BeanNot me, that’s for sure. This week, I travelled up to Chicago for a Jeopardy! casting audition (that’s right – casting – they want you to be smart, but they also want contestants who look good on TV). This was the second time I auditioned, and I feel like I did much better. Who knows how it will turn out, but even if I get on, Jeopardy doesn’t really owe me anything. It’s act of grace (with a dash of capitalism) that anyone gets on and wins money.

There’s one person I hope gets chosen, though. At my audition was a family doctor from Missouri. Part of the audition process is a “faux” game of Jeopardy, complete with the little personal interview that Alex does at the end of the first commercial break. During her interview, this woman revealed that her husband’s a pastor, and she joked that winning Jeopardy would help with their church’s building campaign.

The casting director then asked, “What would you really do with the money?” Every potential contestant was asked this question. Most of them talked of travel to favorite locales or pet projects around the home. I described a dream I have to build a garden office in my backyard.

This shy doctor from Missouri, though, gave the answer of the day.

I work with a medical missions group that helps women in Ghana who are escaping slavery. And that’s how I would use the money.

This Jeopardy casting crew hears hundreds, maybe thousands, of “what I would do if I won” answers each year. You could tell that this one gave them something to think about.

Be sure to visit the Ohio State Price of Life website. This event raised awareness, money, and political support to end human trafficking around the world, in the name of Jesus and the freedom he gives. More than 300 people made commitments to follow Christ during the weeklong event.

Consider the Raven

Today I was reading one of my favorite (and most challenging) of Jesus’ teachings: do not worry.

Here is what Leon Morris has to say about Luke 12:24:

Jesus reinforces this [teaching] with an appeal to the ravens (or ‘crows’, Goodspeed, GNB), mentioned here only in the New Testament (they are the objects of God’s care in Ps. 147:9). Birds do not engage in agricultural activities, but they do not lack for all that. God feeds them. There is possibly significance in the fact that ravens were unclean (Lev. 11:15). God makes provision even for these unclean birds. And Jesus goes on to remind his hearers that they are of more value than birds (cf. v. 7)

Here is a poem I wrote about a parallel passage, Matthew 6:34:

Matthew 6:34

It’d be too easy to assume
You were talking to me, so
Who? Your disciples? They
Seemed to worry more about
Fish than God (then anyway).
The crowds, hungry and poor
And the soldiers stealing their cloaks?
Maybe. And maybe yourself,
Reminding yourself of what
You already knew: the times
Were short, the work was long
From Capernaum down to Judah, and
The coming trial must not
Darken the day too soon.

Each day has trouble enough.

Photo credit: Raven and the First Men at UBC’s Museum of Anthropology, by bRONTE dIGITAL

Ten Days in Madison

During the next two weeks, I am going to be in Madison, Wisconsin, for InterVarsity’s Orientation for New Staff (ONS).  Though I’ve been with InterVarsity for about 2 years now, I have not yet been through my official orientation.  I’m looking for to the trip, because it will be a good chance for me to get to know some other staff from around the country (mostly working with undergraduates, a key area for ESN), and also to receive some valuable training.  The main InterVarsity website has posted a great article describing ONS. 

Please be in prayer for safe travel, and also for a peaceful home while I’m gone for Elizabeth and the kids. 

A Day of Firsts

Yesterday was…

  • Our first road trip with just the boy.
  • Our first meeting with Mike Huckabee.
  • Our first acquaintance with the former U.S. Ambassador to Latvia.
  • And our first scalp wound in the family, from Ginger tumbling off her sister’s bed. 

What a day!