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To Be Vunerable

By Tim Butler | Posted at 11:10 PM

Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one. To love is to be vulnerable.

C.S. Lewis always has a way of putting things just right.

The Summer Sets, Semester Dawns

By Tim Butler | Posted at 12:09 AM

Well, tomorrow I begin the first day of my last semester at seminary. This feels somehow profound. I am not crazy about having a mid-afternoon class to start things off, but it should be a good one. I have been looking forward to having this professor, Dr. Phil Douglass, again since my first semester.

Afterimage

By Tim Butler | Posted at 1:03 AM

Sometimes it lasts much longer than the light.

Get Your Kicks

By Tim Butler | Posted at 10:07 PM

I've been out of town, if any faithful asisaid readers have been wondering what happened to me after several months of daily posting. The trip, which included some time on Route 66, inspired my latest column on Open for Business.

51.

By Tim Butler | Posted at 12:39 AM

Well, I am back from a short trip to the Ozarks, which was absolutely lovely. Just too short. I always find I am not ready to return home from there.

In any case, my absence from my blog the last few days marked the end of fifty-one days of continuous posting on my blog. As far as I know, that is the longest continuous span of posting I have ever achieved and certainly the longest in recent years, when my posting here has been rather sporadic.

I wanted to do that for two reasons. First, I think the discipline of daily posting makes one think creatively about what can be posted and avoid turning a blog into a place for only highly polished pieces seemingly better fit to an online publication (like OFB). Second, after seeing a number of my favorite blogs from years past essentially dry up, I wanted to shore up my own commitment to the medium of blogging.

While the continuous posting has been broken, I am going to try to keep up daily posting more often in the future. I think its a habit that is actually constructive.

Project

By Tim Butler | Posted at 12:43 AM

I have some new things cooking for this site and others that are so close to being ready for testing, but I cannot seem to get them over that threshold. Here's hoping tomorrow proves to be the day I finish… the code is starting to drive me crazy (crazier?).

How is it...

By Tim Butler | Posted at 12:25 AM

How is it that no matter how many ways I try to arrange to search through notes that I jot down, I can still never find the one I want when I need it?

Hmm.

Travelogue

By Tim Butler | Posted at 11:56 PM

This has been a busy week.

On Sunday evening, my uncle flew in from Seattle and so I joined my parents in doing various touristy, fun activities with him for the first few days of the week. We went down the Great River Road in Illinois one day; the next, we made our way through Defiance and Augusta on the Missouri side. We also played quite a few hours of various card games each night. All and all, it was a whirlwind, but a fun to get to visit with him.

On Wednesday, he and my dad headed to Indiana to spend some time there with my grandfather. My mom and I joined them yesterday for my grandpa's 90th birthday parties — a small party last night and a luncheon with more of the family today.

While it has been spring break at seminary, I have more than enough reading and projects to work on to fill an otherwise empty week. Not surprisingly, I have not finished everything I need to get done yet. But, hope springs eternal: I still have until Tuesday night before my first class of the week — perhaps I can check off a few more tasks by then.

Apropos

By Tim Butler | Posted at 12:42 AM

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

—Hamlet (Shakespeare Hamlet 1.5)

Somehow this seems particularly fitting tonight.

To Teach Again

By Tim Butler | Posted at 8:29 PM

One loss I have felt acutely since “the Conflict” at the old church has been teaching Sunday School. From September 2007 until March 2009 I taught the church's senior high class, then from April 2009 until the July 2009 I was tasked with trying to launch a college and young adult Sunday School class. I loved interacting with the class and trying to find unique ways to present topics that are often viewed as dry. For most of that time I also was able to create my own curriculum, a task I enjoyed greatly. Whether I made it interesting is a question I would have to defer to others, but with my odd mind I am pretty certain the classes were at least different.

I loved learning with and from the class as we explored the goodness of God's covenantal story. I enjoyed getting to know those in the classes and they taught me a lot about teaching and about the subjects we were discussing. They also often reminded me how much more I have to learn. For a portion of that time I was able to ask a dear friend (and partner in crime on various projects over the years) to be a co-teacher and our collaborative process added greatly to the memorable elements of the “project.”

A few months ago, I was talking to one of my professors from college who has encouraged me in my pursuit of a teaching post. “It's a charmed life,” he said, as he went on to reiterate how it never grows old to spend time sharing the wonderful subjects he teaches with new students each semester and to, in essence, get to spend life learning along with them. The taste I have had in a less formal setting really helps me to appreciate his point.

Teaching taught me how much my calling is tied to teaching. I already believed that I was headed for a teaching form of ministry, but the time spent doing the deed was far more rewarding than I ever expected. The cancelation of the class — support had slowly been taken away as the conflict intensified — and the subsequent yearning I felt to teach again has confirmed this all the more for me.

Today, I was blessed with the opportunity to sub for one of my fellow seminarians at my new church in his adult Sunday School class. I felt rusty and I was more than a little nervous at my first attempt at teaching at the new church, but all the same it was delightful to be able to dig into a subject (the Sermon on the Mount), prepare a lesson and get to discuss it with folks.

Thinking about how thankful I was for the class, I also reflected more generally. I looked around the church as it filled and thought about all of the people I have had the chance to get to know in the past six months here. I could not help but think how gracious God is in his providence.

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