Tuesday, August 27, 2013

way back when

'friend' used to be a noun
   someone tangible and here
'like' used to be a verb
a 'chat' took place in shared time
   and space
a 'post' was something solid
   driven in the ground
words were reliable,
   ink on paper,
   book on shelf
a phone was how we called home

but now
friends are virtual
   and transitory
we stare at flat screens
   instead of faces, 'liking' but not talking
and watch words fly up
   as we scroll down (like you just did)
   a moment is all they have
   to make their big impression
posts last one day
   maybe two
   before fading into forgotten history
a phone is a way to leave home
   traveling into other people's lives
hoping they are less empty
than our own

Friday, August 23, 2013

the latest publication by Daniel Block

The latest entry in Daniel Block's growing bibliography is now in print! Dr. Block has long been known for his fine 2-volume commentary on Ezekiel in the NICOT series.  It is widely used in both seminaries and university classrooms (The University of Wisconsin - Madison, for example) and still recognized 15 years after publication as the most thoroughly exegetical commentary available. It's no wonder Tremper Longman gave it 5 stars in his Old Testament Commentary Survey. More recently he helped bring the late Jacob Milgrom's commentary on the latter part of Ezekiel to press.

While for the past 10 years Dr. Block's attention has centered on the book of Deuteronomy, his 3 decades of involvement in the SBL seminar on Ezekiel continues to draw him back to that book. Over the years he has presented and published dozens of essays on Ezekiel, covering aspects of the book that even a 2-volume commentary did not allow him adequate space to discuss. Now, for the first time, nearly all of Dr. Block's additional work on Ezekiel is available in two handy volumes (akin to his 2-volume collection of essays on Deuteronomy). The first volume is hot off the press and the second should be released within the next month.

By the River Chebar: Historical Literary, and Theological Studies in the Book of Ezekiel includes the following 9 essays:

Preaching Ezekiel
The Theology of Ezekiel
The God Ezekiel Wants Us to Meet
Divine Abandonment: Ezekiel's Adaptation of an ANE Motif
   Excursus A: The Prophetic Speech of Marduk
Chasing a Phantom: The Search for the Historical Marduk
The Prophet of the Spirit: The Use of ruach in the Book of Ezekiel
Beyond the Grave: Ezekiel's Vision of Death and Afterlife
Text and Emotion: A Study in the "Corruptions" in Ezekiel's Inaugural Vision (Ezek 1:4–28)
   Excursus B: Ezekiel 1:6, 8–10, 15–21, and 10:9–22 in Parallel
Ezekiel's Boiling Cauldron: A Form-Critical Solution to Ezekiel 24:1–14
   Appendix: In Praise of Moshe: A Tribute to Moshe Greenberg

These essays appeared in academic journals and edited volumes between 1988 and 2010, with at least three entries that are not yet in print elsewhere. But now you can have them all at your fingertips, complete with subject, author, and Scripture indices as well as a full bibliography. The bibliography alone is a testimony to the rich conversation in which Dr. Block has been engaged over the course of these years. For those involved in detailed study of the book of Ezekiel, Ian Duguid calls these books an "essential resource."

Congratulations, Dr. Block!

Monday, August 19, 2013

on deck this semester

Now that I'm finished taking classes, what will the school year look like?

1. Dissertation Writing - Once my core chapters are finished (soon, I hope!), I'll need to put them all together, make revisions, and write an introduction and conclusion. The entire draft is due Dec 15.
2. Precepting - In exchange for my stipend, I'll be facilitating weekly Freshman discussion groups for a required course called "Gospel, Church, and Culture." The job also includes grading assignments, meeting with students, and attending the class. I'm really looking forward to engaging with undergraduate students!
3. PhD Representative - I'll be representing the PhD student body this year at faculty meetings and grad council meetings. This role also involves facilitation of study carrel assignments, overall communication, problem-solving, and the Christmas party. It will give me a taste of what academic administration is like.
4. Speaking Engagements - I'll be speaking in Grad Chapel on October 16. My talk is titled "Counted as His: The Gospel according to Numbers 6:24–27." It will be posted online afterwards. Dr. Block asked me to give two lectures for his Ezekiel class as well.
5. Teaching Sunday School - I'm teaching a 3-week course on the Ten Commandments for several of our church's Adult Bible Fellowship groups this year. I'm scheduled for September, October, and January. This will be a great opportunity to take what I'm learning and pass it on to others in our church community.
6. Conference Presentations - I'll be presenting papers at 3 back-to-back conferences in Baltimore this November: ETS, IBR, and SBL. The papers are already written, so the rest should be fun!
7. Comprehensive Reading - In my spare time, I'll be finishing up my comprehensive reading list. The end is in sight!

I'm so grateful for the privilege of studying at Wheaton. Let the fun begin!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Tuesday Tidbit: something worth having

Getting a PhD is hard work. But on my hardest days I remind myself that if it was easy, it wouldn't be worth much.

Today I found a verse in the Apocrypha that says it so well:

"The person who has what is hard to get rejoices more than the person who has what is plentiful." (2 Esdras 7:59b)

This is a helpful way of looking at lots of hard things in life. The most difficult seasons enable God to do the deepest work in us, if we let him. And jobs that are hardest to do bring the greatest rewards.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

remembering Dr. Reeve

Dr. Pamela Reeve, age 96
A giant of a lady entered into glory last Saturday.

Dr. Pamela Reeve couldn't have been more than 5 feet tall, but she exuded strength and compassion more than twice her size. She had the special gift of making people feel completely at ease. Nothing you said could shock or dismay her. With Dr. Reeve you felt safe to share anything. She treated everything you said as a treasure — something truly precious.

Danny and I had the privilege of taking Dr. Reeve's "Intro to Counseling" class during the semester we were engaged to be married. What better time to work on interpersonal relationships! Dr. Reeve supplied us with the perspective and the tools we needed to build a healthy foundation for our marriage. Fifteen years later, we're still thinking about the lessons we learned in that class—lessons about brokenness, suffering, faith, respect and caring.

Dr. Reeve pioneered the first ever women's ministry program in the nation and mentored generations of  men and women during her 49 years of service at our alma mater, Multnomah University. I count it a privilege to have been one of them. All praise to our God for Dr. Reeve's lifetime of ministry!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

this summer by the numbers

I realize the irony of writing this post after the last one, but rest assured that none of these numbers define who I am. They just give you a picture of what I've been up to this summer!

0 - landlords on the planet who are better than ours
1 - core dissertation chapter left to write
2 - new cousins our kids gained this summer (wahoo!)
3 - VBS programs our kids participated in this year
4 - total number of core chapters in my dissertation
5 - years since Easton was born
5 - live paintings I did on stage during VBS
6 - hour drive to Honey Rock to pick up Eliana
10 - days Emma and Easton had swimming lessons
12 - total days Eliana will spend at Honey Rock
15 - years Danny and I have been married
16 - years old our oldest neice is - old enough to come visit us!
17 - days' notice we had before Danny's brother got married
18 - days until school starts
27 - number of camp scholarships raised by VBS kids
32 - books left on my comprehensive reading list
36 - years since I was born (as of today)
43 - days until my next chapter is due
45 - weeks until our lease is up in Wheaton
48 - months this blog has been running
91 - pages in my latest dissertation chapter
125 - kids in our church's VBS program
188 - books I have finished on my comps list
189 - approximate gallons of latex seal coating Danny applied to driveways with our landlord
207 - days until my defense draft is due
235 - total pages I have written so far
273 - pictures I took at Danny's brother's wedding
280 - days until graduation
315 - total number of blog posts I have published
1,349 - dollars the kids brought during VBS to help fund camp scholarships through Sports Friends
2,589 - pages left to read carefully for comps
15,232 - total pages to read carefully for comps
26,171 - words in the chapter I turned in yesterday
34,182 - pageviews on my blog to date
73,080 - words I have written for my dissertation
100,000 - dissertation words I am allowed to write
limitless - grace of God that has carried us through another season!