Why Context Is Key–and What to Do about It

I recently wrote a blog post for Logos Bible Software on an exciting project that my department is working on–The Bible in Seven Acts. The project is designed to shed light on the historical and cultural background of the Bible so that you can dig deeper into the Word. Here’s an excerpt:

In The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Peter Jackson devotes the first seven minutes to the story of the creation of the One Ring and the war against Sauron. Without this historical perspective, the audience would have no background for any of the events in this epic trilogy—context matters.

God’s story of redemption spans thousands of years, from the beginning of civilization to the destruction of the Second Temple and beyond. The Bible in Seven Acts brings the Bible’s historical and cultural context to life. Each volume provides comprehensive, in-depth analysis of biblical history’s most important people, places, and events.

You can read the rest of the post here. Enjoy!

A Week in Workplace Fashion

A while ago, some friends of mine, Joey and Davielle, encouraged me to write a blog post about workplace fashion. I dismissed that silly idea rather quickly. What could I write about fashion that wouldn’t be the most ridiculous farce on par with The Onion? Sure, I could talk about the clothes I wear and why, but the silliness would be too overwhelming.

Then, a few weeks later, another friend, Aaron, asked me for some fashion advice. He wanted to know what to wear to an interview at Logos. I gave him some pointers and tips—you can overdress, wear something that fits into the culture of the company, etc.—and sent him on his merry way. Well, Aaron also happens to be an excellent photographer and wanted to thank me for my advice (he got the job). We came up with a plan to take some portraits every day of the week, showcasing all of my wardrobe choices. Slowly, this ridiculous post was coming together.

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How Fantasy Baseball Got Me a Job

That title might be a bit misleading. I probably would have gotten the job if I hadn’t played fantasy baseball anyway. No, this post is about how I went to school for one thing and ended up doing a completely different thing. I am a project manager at a software company in a department that just established itself as an academic publishing imprint for biblical resources—that seems even odder when I type that all out. I have a degree in history and a degree in education, neither of which lends itself to the type of work I’m doing now. So what happened? How am I able to thrive as a project manager when my education did nothing to prepare me for my career? Fantasy Baseball.
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Into the Mess – Excerpt

The January-February issue of Bible Study Magazine features an article written by yours truly titled “Into the Mess.” It’s my first written piece to be published in print! Here’s a brief excerpt from that article. Enjoy!

“Cookies are not treasure!” Max’s shrill voice rose over the din of the cafeteria, causing every head to turn. “Treasure is permanent!” he wailed. I had to summon all my strength to keep a straight face in front of the infuriated 8-year-old. Max was one of 96 kids attending a summer day camp for at-risk youth, and his class had just discovered cookies at the end of their afternoon treasure hunt. I tried to convince Max that the homemade cookies were a desirable prize, but despite my best efforts, he screamed, “It’s not fair!”

Each of us has our own personal sense of justice that helps us discern right from wrong, fair from unfair. But what happens when our sense of justice clashes with God’s?

Jonah’s life demonstrates what can happen when we’re at odds with God. Nothing goes the way Jonah anticipated as he reluctantly made his way to Nineveh. When God spared the city it “seemed very wrong” to Jonah (Jonah 4:1). You can almost hear him crying out, “it’s not fair!” His idea of justice for the Assyrian city was destruction—fair punishment for their sins.

Sometimes we’re unable to muster compassion for those who have acted sinfully. God does not respond to Jonah or Nineveh’s sin with punishment and destruction, but with compassion and mercy. God’s grace extends beyond mere justice. He brings healing and restoration.

To read the rest, check out the latest issue of Bible Study Magazine or you could ask me for a copy.

When In Doubt, Go to the Data!

Yesterday, the Seattle Mariners called up Mike Zunino from AAA-Tacoma just a year after he was drafted. Tonight, he will be making his major league debut, starting at catcher and batting sixth for the Mariners. To say this decision has been criticized might be an understatement. It’s been analyzed from almost every angle and has been universally panned by the blogging community. I won’t add my voice to the cacophony but I do want to examine this move as a case study in decision-making. As a project manager, I regularly give input into decisions that I hope are based on sound, rational data. It seems like throwing Mike Zunino into the major leagues was a decision made based in emotional and personal sentiment.

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Second Guessing God

Two weeks ago I started a new job as a project manager in the publications department at Logos Bible Software. I am very excited to start this new season in my life but I was surprised to feel a deep melancholy since then. For the past ten years, my focus has been teaching. It had become so deeply ingrained with my identity that the first thing people would ask me when I told them I was working at Logos was, “What about teaching?” Now, after living in this identity, striving after it, I find myself facing a very real and difficult transition. Identity is a difficult thing to establish, let alone change.  When that transition happened so suddenly, it caused me to begin to second guess God. “Is this really what you want my life to be about, God?”

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Chair Revolution 2012

Today started just like any other day in November. It was cold and a low fog layer covered Bellingham, Washington. I started work at Logos Bible Software at 10:00 am unaware of the extraordinary events about to take place. At around 10:15, I entered the basement of building 1 with my co-worker, Mark. We saw over 50 chairs gathered together, some older and broken down, others young and still plush. It was a fairly common sight, chairs usually congregated in spaces like this. However, this wasn’t just a regular collection, the chairs had something far greater in store for us.

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