Monday, November 12, 2007

Lots 'O Stuff

Sporadic blogging, I know. Lots of stuff going on.

At work: Something like ten job candidates in a week and a half. I have a half hour office meeting with each of them individually, and then attend each of their hour and a half job talks. (I enjoy hearing about new research at the job talks, but they do put a dent in the work day, especially when two are scheduled in one day.) And I also went out to dinner with four of the candidates. (Again, that's typically fun, but it burns the entire evening. Usually the only time I see the kids is before they go to school.) All this on top of my normal teaching, editorial, and administrative duties. (My own research? I used to do that.)

Last Tuesday and tomorrow night (Tuesday) I spoke (am speaking) to a group of about eighty inmates who are about to start a lengthy program with a group I used to go into prison with. But volunteering with this program, on top of my own program that I started at a local prison, plus a new church ministry (see below), I had to drop something so as not to neglect my wife and kids. I won't miss making the 140 mile round trip every Tuesday night, but I very much miss the men and the other outside volunteers. I am grateful that they included me at the start of the program. It was a real blessing to see some of the men from previous sessions (who help the outside volunteers with the small groups, once the main body of the program begins). Basically, I get to talk about the Gospel and how it affects our lives in response to God's grace in Christ.

Our church started a big push on "small groups." So Meg and I are leading/hosting a small group at our home. We're huge supporters of the concept and the initiative. I'm a fanatic on the point that in order to "be" the church, local churches need to facilitate strong relationships between church members. ("By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another," Jn 13.35.) I don't know anyway to do it better than through small groups.

So things have been a big busy recently. I expect this week to calm down a bit. We'll see if I can catch up and blog a little more frequently.


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