Saturday, July 08, 2006

Personal update (August 5)

(The most recent update is at the bottom of this post)

I finished my walk to Kansas... While I am officially still off-email for the summer I finished my walk on the "Trail of Death." I posted a reflecton at the end of the journal which is linked at

The first two weeks of August are my prepare-for-next-semester weeks. I'm teaching two courses every semester-- LCE and Leadership. Both have attached practicum courses which make the combined load for these four courses about 10-11 hours. The rest of my courses rotate--this fall I'll have Adult Education, and in the Spring Camping & Retreats--both courses I also love with great passion.

As for the campus, as always there are lots of buildings going up... right behind CM in the parking lot is a huge three-story academic building that completely streteches in front of both the science hall and CM and will face 38th street--it will be under construction all year so bye bye parking lot. And a new dorm is going up where the old tennis courts were (and on the spot of those nearby houses) . Also we're building a huge (bigger than a football field) practice house for sports teams to have an indoor place to practice--and to let the current Health and wellness place be used for intramural stuff without competing with the sports teams for space. Beyond this a huge new College Church is also under construction in the full square block on 38th street (all the houses are gone there) to the East of the new academic building.

The new President Smith is in charge now, President Barnes has moved to Tennessee. Sharon is dean at APS and is more busy than ever before.

As for campus people-news, we have several new professors. A guy with the first name of "Jolly" is coming from Calirofnia to replace Jim Lo but I forgot his last name. Dave Ward (former student) is coming back from KBM to teach all sections of Hom 1 & 2. Bud Bence is now the VP for Academics and Steve Lennox is the Dean of the Chapel. Dave Smith is head of the division (he's switching to Wesleyan from FM--a requirement for division chairs.) Gunsalus is on the final stretch of his PhD, as is Horst. Schenck seems to write a new book every month or so. Bounds has designed several hundred new theology courses. Springer teaches more children's ministry stuff now--I teach lots of general CE. Everyone else is about the same... Oh, yeah, Wilbur Williams is..well, the same Wilbur Williams you remember.

July 22 Update...
I've been reading for my deotions Ken Schenck's commentary on 1&2 Corinthians. It is wonderful! If I had to only get one book this year this would be it. What a masterpiece! I've sorta burned out on the read-through-the-whole-Bible-as-a-race thing (though Sharon is still plugging away faithfully) and been hungry for more commentary on the text--not just the bare text, so this commentary is a wonderful break for me. I am behind on my through-the-Bible reading now... maybe I'll catch up or maybe I'll read the second half next year...we'll see. For now though I'm loving this commentary!
....You can get Ken's Commentary for $15.99 from Wesleyan Publishing House here
....Or for a few dollars less at here:
(Why does Wesleyan Publishing House charge more on their own site than sells their stuff for???)

July 23 Update...
My son John was ordained today.
The Indiana North district does their ordination service at Lakeview. Both of my sons are now ordained, the equivalent of “tenure” of a college professor. It reminded me of my own ordination in 1971. I made it through the hoops but not without some doubt. You see I had a large drooping mustache then and (at that time) facial hair was a big issue. It was thought in 1971 that facial hair meant I was a hippie who was opposed to the Vietnam war and was thus not a loyal American. They were half-right: I was opposed to the war but I was also a loyal American. A few wise members of the DBMD pushed to “pass him though” because I would “grow up later.” I’m glad for their wiser approach. (Though I still have not witnessed a war I thought was God’s will).

JULY 24 Update...
I’ve been doing dozens of radio interviews for the new book “There is no “I” in church.” They all go about the same way. An agent in Idaho has sent my book to Christian radio stations and gets requests from them and confirms the time with me. When the time comes I go to my office (where I have a land-line phone) and wait for the radio show’s producer to call me. When I get the call the producer (who invaribly is a woman) “chats me up” then plugs me in and the host asks questions for 20-30 minutes usually while live on the air. The host never actually has read the book (like some of my students before class;-). They mostly interview me on the title. Two have opened the book to the Table of Contents to fish out some questions—I like that.
Of course they don’t need to read the book--the agent has prepared a list of 20 questions they can ask (I have a copy). Most hosts ignore the list altogether and just ramble anywhere the conversation goes—usually mining the next question out of my last response. That is OK with me I simply “plant” a statement in each answer that leads them to ask the question I want to answer next.
These interviews happen from 6AM in the morning until 11PM at night depending on the station’s time zone—and I still have to do them while traveling—like from the hotel room in Branson Missouri this coming week. Some are with networks of a dozen stations or with the sat. radio. The producer sometimes reminds me of hte audience, as in "We are in 60 countries around the world with a potential audience of 26 miooion" Of course that would be like saying a church in Indianapolis has a "potential attendance" of a million. ;-)
Sometimes I feel cheap doing the interviews since I don’t listen much to “Christian Radio” myself—though I sometimes dial on for ten or 15 minutes. After that I often switch for one of two reasons: Their anger which tires me or their smugness. But, oh well, this is one of those things you must promise to do when you write a book. Maybe someone is listening.

Off to Branson MO now for the week with Sharon as the tag-along-spouse while she attends some sort of conference. Maybe I'll go see some singer who is famous with old people while there. Or maybe I'll write some on the Trail Of Death manuscript. Or maybe I'll just watch TV in the motel room all week. ;-)

AUG 4 Update...
I finished up all my sylabus work & grade cards and first week's class plans for two courses last week... 1) Local Church Education...where I made some great changes and improvements inspired by the end-of-course surveys from students. 2) Church Leadership...where I made massive changes moving a chunck toward more "Problem-based-learning" (what Schenck calls "Practice-toTheory") in the course... it should be fun. Based on student evaluations I dropped a unit and combined some too and moved to longer units to give more in-depth time. I also took a day to organize all my overheads into boxes nicely labeled now. Last week they painted one of our REL office walls dark maroon too which is less bland.

This coming week I'm baby-sitting Sharon who has a knee operation Monday and I'll be working aorund the house.

Next Tuesday I leave for ten days the Colorado Trail... with Phil Woodbury. We'll hop on the trail near Leadville Colorado and hike south through the Collegiate Peaks range. I have only 20 miles left of the CT... and I'll have hiked it all--so the second day out I'll finish the CT--after that I'll be repeating one of my favorite sections. This trail is the highest trail in the USA...often abouve 11,000' all day and rises to 12,000 and above. Looking forward to some cooler life next week! We're driving out and back--so even looking forward to the drive. Then I come the day before faculty retreat and I'm off for another semester!