The Years of the Locusts

There was a fascinating story in this week’s New York Times about the threat of swarms of locusts in Africa and the attempts to limit the damage: As Locusts Swarmed East Africa, This Tech Helped Squash Them - The New York Times (nytimes.com). The desert locust, known to scientists as “Schistocerca Americana, subspecies gregaria,” is a distant … Continue reading The Years of the Locusts

What I Read This Week

Early in the week I finished Barack Obama’s presidential memoir, A Promised Land. Obama really is a good writer. Then I read Rob Bell’s newest book, Everything is Spiritual, which I liked a lot. Bell writes: I’ve had a sense since I was youngthat there’s more going on here, thatthe world is not a cold, … Continue reading What I Read This Week

A Journey To and From the Center

To journey without being changedis to be a nomad.To change without journeyingis to be a chameleon.To journey and to be transformedby the journeyis to be a pilgrim.-Mark Nepo, “Being a Pilgrim,” January 30, The Book of Awakening Henri Nouwen writes:When I taught academic courses on the spiritual life, I sometimes drew a long straight line … Continue reading A Journey To and From the Center

Call-In Culture

As I read in the 12/16/20 issue of The Christian Century, Loretta J. Ross, who teaches a popular class at Smith College, is challenging her students to address “call-out” culture—the practice of publicly shaming someone for behavior or speech deemed inappropriate. Ross, a radical Black feminist and a longtime activist, believes call-out culture is toxic. … Continue reading Call-In Culture

Julie Rowe Education Fund

Our friend Julie Rowe taught school as usual last Thursday and then, tragically, suffered a devasating stroke after she got home that afternoon. She died Sunday night, December 6, 2020. Julie was 41 years old. My wife Jamie has been close friends with Julie’s husband, Kyle, since high school and close friends with Julie for … Continue reading Julie Rowe Education Fund

Notes from my journal

Brene Brown talks about learning about having a strong back and a soft front from Joan Halifax. The strong back is self-respect, strength, and courage. The soft front is openness and vulnerability. She quotes Joan Halifax: “All too often our so-called strength comes from fear, not love. Instead of having a strong back, many of … Continue reading Notes from my journal