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I have been really busy lately and trying to figure out where I had time to blog – I have not really found the time but tonight due to technical difficulties beyond my control I have a window of opportunity.

I expect posts will return on a more regular basis in June/July to include holiday insights but no guarantees.

I have found two great new blogs in the last couple of weeks.

William Willimon has a blog – one of the most inspirational preachers in the US has a blog.  It can be found here and I recommend all bible college students, seminarians and others read his articles on ministry as Between Two Worlds and Advice to New Pastors part 2.

On a very different note is the Biblical Studies and Technology website.

Other stuff – you may see postings about some of my studies at Macquarie uniuversity but I am not sure yet where they will end up.

Blessings

I think I have told the story of working for one university and one of my co-workers suggesting the idea would the structure of the department change to meet the requirements or would everything remain the same?  I have looked more recently on the web for that institution and that department.  Things are dramatically different today.

My workplace has grown over the last couple of years and as often happens there is an annual adjustment of roles.  This year though the change was quite dramatic as roles previously taken by two people were split between four people as the work has just increased that much.  I have a new title with the word Director in it and somehow picked up some staff to look after.

I moved into an office which I share with someone rather than be in an open plan area as I have (re)grown used to over the last year.  There are days I like either one more than the other.  Time will tell which is better overall.

This is all good stuff but it may explain why some of my blog entries are a bit more sporadic until things get back into routine.

This blog has been going for over a year now.

This is a small thing of amazement for me – not because I have kept it going but how it has morphed and transformed.

Part of the idea was to write to attract thinking people to the college I was working for.  A similar exercise seems to have been done at Pentecostal Discussions but it stopped before I even started.  And I am not sure it ever worked for me.

A second idea was to work out some of my theological ideas.  It started out as church and kingdom and then has worked towards Theological Anthropology.  Funnily enough next year I expect to be teaching to half-units Theology of the Human Person and Theology of the Church.  Ever think God was setting me up for something?

Along the way I have meditated on family relationships, informed some of my family what we were up to, considered the academic life and celebrated milestones in people’s life.

It seems funny that one of the most influential books for me in the last year was Patrick Leoncini’s The Five Dysfunctions of a Team and in the last week I have read two more of his books Death by Meeting and Silos, Politics and Turf Wars.  The team book has remained in the back of my mind as I have worked out my own past and how I have worked or not worked well for different employers.  The other two books are good books, I would recommend them to solve the problems they deal with but have not had as much impact on me as they were aimed at either a larger environment (Death by Meeting) or problems that occur when teams are balkanised (Silos, Politics and Turf Wars). The ending of Silos, Politics and Turf Wars though had me thinking as it showed how easily and quickly the problem can arise when there is not good management and a desire to maintain teamwork.

So where am I now?  I still want to keep much of the structure of the blog.  The ideas are still valid for me and I still want to work out some of my theology.  I can imagine setting up questions for students to answer on the blog as we work through some of the theological issues for Theology of the Human.  Other ideas will start coming along.

One thing I need to do though is improve the quality of my writing.  I want more readers like Scott McKnight has.  I know I won’t be a Scott McKnight but I do want to consider how to get to his style of writing.

So what improvements do you want in what you do regularly?

p.s. I would also like to type bette so I have less typos.

It has been a busy week for us here.  We had a mini-conference/camp for the students which had a huge impact on many of them.  It was great to have graduates of the college speak about what is going on in their worlds of ministry and mission.  At the same time we had houseguests who were delightful but just meant that things were a little different around home.  And on top of it all my super son had a rash and now a what seems to be a cold.  Joy.

In the midst of this all I have achieved one of my stated goals from 3 or 4 years ago and introduce a UK ministry to an Australian context.  In this case they had got to the person 1 day before I did but it was great confirmation for the Australian people.

This week has not been lots of posts or lots of reading due to general busyness.  However I have a few things to point out for those interested:

A new book by Patrick Leoncini that looks interesting

A biography about an itinerant pastor that also sounds good

A eulogy for someone I would like to be like

The challenge of being a saint over a celebrity

A new blog which I am enjoying

And a book which I think will shake some things up especially with this sort of thinking and this sort of writing

Have a great weekend.

Ok I’ll admit I was stuck on what I would write this week. That was until I saw a sneak reference in NT scholar Mark Goodacre’s blog about Doctor Who. So nice to see another blogger and academic with the same taste as me. Unfortunately he tells me the new series of Doctor Who has started in the UK and I have no idea how long I’ll have to wait out here before the ABC shows it.

Anyway the good thing about Mark’s blog other than the academic quality of all he does is that he shows that academic blogs can function in multiple ways. This is a great encouragement to me as I see more reading of this blog happening. I am never sure of how to keep my voice and my tone right. Mark shows me I can keep it professional and personal. Mind you he seems to keep these in separate sections which I don’t do yet.

I expect looking around I will need to update my blogroll soon as there are a few changes I should make.

Also I keep intending to do an indepth review of Fink’s, Creating Significant Learning Experiences so if I say this I will then start next Monday.

Enjoy your reading.

p.s. It turns out one of the photos I had linked to previously was under terms more limited than I am used to and the author asked for a cease and desist.  I have done so and will need to be more careful in future.  Ah just when I thought I was getting pretty too 😦  No more photos except my own I guess.

Every so often I reflect why am I writing a blog.  People at work recognise it as a discipline of writing daily which works well for me. I came across a link to a blog entry about why academics should blog which has some interesting ideas in it.  Feel free to pick up your own as you read.  I am also aware that many of my readers are now family or students.  I have not had the resounding success like Jon Accuff with Stuff Christians Like.  Jon’s thoughts on the matter can be found here which is a blog probably visited as much as this one.

So why do I keep it up?  I think the discipline answer, the academic droppings answer and the hope for impact on someone’s life.

Related to impact we had a new prayer meeting today at work – we have three a week already and a new corporate one today as we know we need to rely on God.  A smaller group of us were prayed for in the task we all need to complete.  This reminded me of a story I came across while at Fuller, a woman school teacher one day broke down in tears when she was asked something about life and work and church.  She said something like “For twenty years I have been a school teacher and not once has the church prayed for me, I volunteered one weekend to teach Sunday School as if it is something different.”  I felt that sort of impact today that people were praying for me to complete the work God has me here to do.

And ultimately I still blog because I think it is something I should do for God to shape me and mould me, I know it has already.

I don’t consider myself a humble person.  Too many times I know I have suffered from intellectual pride and hurt people by seeming to know it all.

This week I have been asked to take on a new unit for next semester and was told the textbooks involved.  I am happy for both and one of them is by a blogger I read, Steve Taylor.  Now Steve and I have had differences of opinion on occasion.  I am used to working with larger groups than what he addresses but the heart of what he says I fairly much agree with.  Now I have to digest it well.

This is where I am being humbled and views I think I know, I now have to check I really do know.

Wait and see what the outcome is practically, I am sure I will blog more about this but regardless I am reminded that our views can come back to haunt us and to be a little more humble in what we blog, say and do.

It seems odd to realise a week ago I was still posting regularly and now I am in a new state, a new job, sitting at a new(ish) computer working with people who are new to me and it all feels good.  This really means I can start posting again in some measure.

I have lots of work to do and I think I have my head around it now.  Just not how to do it as I  am still getting used to a few things.  But I am getting there.

So I am back for whatever that means.

I had hoped at this point to be back to the regular albeit slightly revised posting schedule:

Mondays for Marking:  Reflecting on Academic books and life

Tuesdays and Thursdays Theological Reflections

Fridays for Fiction, Film and Fun

which always left Wednesday for Whatever.

So today’s thought is less about Wednesdays and whatevers but about blogging.

I keep an eye on my statistics as I would like to know I have an audience.  I saw a blog that obviously had one reader, the author and no other.  I know that is not true here but the numbers vary.  The thing I notice is that the quickest way to get visitors to the site is to accidentally say something controversial or to comment on a good article.  This is not how good scholars are known.  Word of mouth helps but publishing the profound and useful is better.

So now I am back to thinking about how to get something published – seriously and then see if I get more traffic.  Time will tell.

For those who are interested a friend of mine has a blog which I think is far better written than mine but of a totally different nature.  Bec’s blog can be found at becnew.blogspot.com.

It is the Wednesday I go on holidays.  An unintentional slight on Emergent Kiwi’s blog has just been apologised for and I think all is right with the worl well at least the small bit of my little corner of it that I am somehow able to deal with.  If I am realistic even my corner is too big for me especially at Christmas when it is so easy to become manic.

This leads me to reflect on the Advent season we are in thus the reference to Holly in the title.  Holly is of course half the combination of the Holly and the Ivy which while sung at Christmas by Bing Crosby is really an Easter song.  Listen to the words if you don’t believe me.

Holidays of course were originally “Holy Days” when there was a break from routine whereby people could refresh themselves and take stock of their lives.

The family this year is taking a long drive (1700 kms or around 1000 miles)  to visit relatives.  We are looking forward to it though we all need more sleep.  Will this be refreshing?  I hope so.  More so will be the times of reflection when my passengers are asleep and I can stop and think while staring at country Australia,  Last year I felt God impress ideas and goals for the year.  I have achieved those in some measure or other and look forward to thinking about the next year.

I pray you have a great Advent and will hear from me again in the New Year