All tagged Love

Friends Near and Far

One of my best friends daughter is coming to visit us today. We are pretty excited to have her with us. It has been fun over the years to watch her grow up. I have known her since she was a child and now she is in her early twenties. It is hard for me to get my head around. However, in the Clausing house, there is great excitement to have Amy with us for a few days.

Who's your mother?

It seems there comes in a time in every PhD candidates life when they start working ridiculously long hours. I have hit that time in the program. I am trying to get my thesis written which means that I drop Calvin off at nursery in the morning, get into the office and stay there until around 30 minutes before he goes to bed so that I can get a little time with him before he is off to sleep. I don’t love the hours that I have to work right now to get this thesis done, but I know that it is important for my family and our future. This is especially true as we get closer to having Grace come home. The thesis needs to be done, so that when she comes home, I don’t have to worry about it anymore.

Friends

I don’t have a lot of close friends. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of people that I love and with whom I interact, but close friends are few in number. As Chaim Potok put it in The Chosen, ‘two people who are true friends are like two bodies with one soul’. I was thinking about this yesterday while listening to an interview with Sen. Ben Sasse. Some of this is because I have moved around a lot and it is hard to sink roots deep when you don’t live anywhere for longer than five years. It is especially hard to have close friendships here in Scotland as there is the acknowledgement in the background that at some point, we are leaving. Scotland is a temporary stopping point for our family.

Learning to Listen

Most of my PhD work consists in reading and then writing down my analysis of what I read. Often I disagree with the people I am reading, yet I still need to represent them accurately. I can't pick and choose the quotes that I work to advance my argument and ignore the context in which those quotes appear. What I am learning over the course of this PhD is that a solid 90% of my writing is just learning to listen carefully.

A Relational God

This Saturday I am leading the men's discipleship at Christ Church Edinburgh. We have been slowly going through the Westminster Confession Faith (about one chapter per month). This week we find ourselves in Chapter Four: Of Creation. As I have been preparing, I have been struck by the opening line.

It is not that Complicated

Paul understands spiritual growth in the Christian life to be a struggle. It isn't easy. It isn't part of our natural make up. The point Paul makes is that growth in the Christian life only comes when we see Christ's strength work through our weakness.

Loving my Neighbor

Last weekend Taryn, Calvin, and I went to an old mansion in Perthshire, Faskally House. It was built in 1831 and is located just outside Pitlochry (between Perth and Inverness). The house is owned by Faskally Christian Trust, and they rent it out to Christian groups throughout the year. This last weekend our church, Christ Church Edinburgh, spent the weekend there. It was fun and a great way for our family to better connect with folks in the church.

Looking to the Other

This week at New College, there was a conference. It was the inaugural conference for 'The Christian-Muslim Studies Network'. The topic was Reframing Christian-Muslim Encounters: Theological and Philosophical Perspectives. I didn't go to a lot of the conference. In fact, I only went to two sessions. In one, a friend of mine delivered a paper, and I wanted to hear it. Another was the English book release of conversations between a Christian scholar and Islamic scholar who live and work in Lebanon.