Friday, October 01, 2004


This is the first of what should be many installments summarizing my small talk project. You see, I’m a responder rather than an initiator. Most of the time this works out fairly well, but when it comes to greeting new people it has been a problem. So, part of my learning contract for my internship is to practice small talk. For you talkers out there, you’re probably thinking, “What’s the big deal?” I know, it’s odd, but frankly it’s very near to sheer terror.

So this morning on the train there was a young man in a FedEx uniform, carrying a large box, and reading a book on Mesoamerican art. He dropped something on the floor, and that opened up a small talk possibility. He mentioned that he would like to go back to school one day to finish his degree, possibly in aircraft maintenance. We chatted about the possibilities of adult degree programs. I must admit, he asked more questions than I did—that was not my aim, but I am in the beginning stages of learning. Even though the conversation was 40% him and 60% me, that in itself is a vast improvement. In addition, I was able to “debrief” with myself after and realize some of the opportunities I had missed to probe further: his job maintaining aircraft at FedEx, the book he was reading, his desire to go to school, the big box, etc. So, progress made, more progress ahead…

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Blogging rate is waaaaay down...

and it's all because of Talbot. Yup, it's called homework. Good stuff, but work nonetheless. Slated for this week:

- finish the exegesis of Philippians
- complete a theology of community in Philippians
- create Sunday School curriculum based on 40 Days of Community and the theology of community in Philippians
- create the bible study curriculum for Philippians
- finish reading One Size Doesn't Fit All
- try to finish reading a book by Yount
- interview Klaus Issler about asking good questions
- prepare for the interview by read the appropriate sections from his book, Teaching for Reconciliation
- continue reading Myers, Search to Belong
- work on the basic beliefs curriculum

... and somewhere in there, sleep, eat, and go to my full-time job.

Yup. I'm busy. Maybe there will be time next week.

Sunday, September 26, 2004


There is a gentleman in our church. He is passionate about ministry. In fact he is a member of our small group dream team. He also experienced a stroke this past year that partially paralyzed his right side and greatly decreased his ability to speak. Today at our small 40 Days of Community host home training, he gave a short testimony. One of the things he said was simply profound:

"God can do with us much, even when we don't have."

We hear similar statements all the time; in fact, it's probably made it to the Jesus-junk, tee-shirt and bumber sticker sale pile. Often, it's all too easy to say this. We pacify ourselves with words that are all too easy to say. But coming from this guy--for whom it was not so easy to say--the truth once again became the profound. Yup.