Reflection and 2013

A belated “Thank You” to readers here at The Edge of the Inside. I began blogging in December 2003 on the Blogger platform. I believe my URL was justtodd.blogspot.com. Times have changed. I moved through Typepad, changed my tagline, updated the URL, and today host my own WordPress site using Headway Themes.

Traffic and posts increased this year despite several long lapses in writing. I plan to revive Thoughts from the Edge and be more deliberate about posting reviews of books I have finished. I note finished because I have too many near finished. Maybe it stems from reading the classic, How to Read a Book and realizing that one need not read to the final page of many non-fiction books to track the authors subject and high points. Or, maybe it is more the consequence of an ADD reading style. One subject raises the prospect of investigating a related theme, and off I go.

reflectionI plan to add a page for my own Project 365 photography venture. The photo associated with this post is “1 of 365.” I took a couple of Spurgeon, our dog, begging but am not counting those among the selected shots. There is little doubt Cohen and Max will show up in a good many of them. There will also be some travel photos. Memphis, Guatemala, Springfield, Forsyth, and sights around Creede will surely make the cut.

We will experience some milestone moments this year. Patty and me will both turn 50. “Say it ain’t so!” We will also celebrate our 30th Wedding Anniversary with different events during the year. Our youngest will close the year half our age.

One aspect of the blog will remain the same. Scot McKnight recently re-posted one Ross Douthat’s three suggestions for reading to become an educated citizen. McKnight asked how this might be applied to the arena of theological reading. The quoted piece noted that we should read outside of our particular occupational niche. I take that at least two ways. First, I should read more outside of theology and Biblical studies. Second, when I read theology and Biblical studies, should read other than those that hold my own personal confidences. Readers here will confirm this to already be the case, and for,many this is frustrating.
zizekMy own experience has been that for the majority of my educational experience I did not read enough philosophy, logic, and sources with which I knew I might disagree. I have been working extra hard the past decade to amend that habit. Guy sent along enough Zizek to keep me reading until the year’s end. I picked up several commentaries on Luke, the Gospel for Year C, written by those outside my normal selections. LukeThey have already enriched my study. I do plan to add several books of Fiction. And, my mentor will likely scold me if I do not pick up the last of the series begun by William Manchester, finished posthumously by Paul Reid, on Churchill.

This continued practice into 2013 reminds me of a quote from Shane Hipps’ new bok, Selling Water by the River.

Hipps’ goes on to suggest that using multiple lenses to read from does not change the text, but changes the reader. Too often we worry that reading outside of our given Tradition will somehow lead us to somehow change the Sacred Text. Instead, Shane contends it is we who are changed. Chew on that one with me for a while. What are your thoughts?

Reflection leads us forward rather than ties us to only think about the past. Last Sunday’s text from Luke 2 contained the second instance in two short chapters where Mary “ponders,” reflects, on something she hears. One can only imagine how the words pondered both informed and created her understanding about her own Son. The past informed her forward look. I am looking forward to what is opened up this year. Glad you have joined me in the past. Here’s to hoping you will continue in this New Year.

About the Author
Husband to Patty. Daddy to Kimberly and Tommie. Grandpa Doc to Cohen, Max, Fox, and Marlee. Pastor to Snow Hill Baptist Church. Graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Reading. Photography. Golf. Colorado. Jeeping. Friend. The views and opinions expressed here are my own and should not be construed as representing the corporate views of the church I pastor.