And Just What Is Government?

Paul and I spent most of Inauguration Day, Friday, January 20, following the events via our online connection which we cast to our “big” screen (a 37 inch flat screen that is not hooked up to use as a TV).  Watching “the peaceful transfer of power,” our patriotic spirits were exercised, and we almost felt as if we were there. Almost! Happily, I was curled up in my roomy, warm, upholstered chair. The hubbub, the music, the crowds, the motorcades, the who’s who entrances —  all blended to evoke a spirit of belonging — similar to (for me in my simpleness) going to a county fair, but on a huge and impactful scale. This is more than the satisfaction of belonging to a local community or club; on this day, we gratefully sensed our belonging to our country, the United States of America. ( Much of the week end’s madness had not yet happened. I choose not to smudge Friday’s memories with it.)

As I ruminated over the day’s events and words, I asked myself, “And just what is government?” The teens in my Sunday school class and I had discussed this a few weeks before when we were reviewing a period in ancient Israel’s past, the era of the judges, which preceded the kingdom era of King Saul, King David, and King Solomon. In the era of the judges, everyone did what was right in his own eyes (Judges 17:6).   I asked my teens, “What is government?” Their only association of the word is with politics — some form of civil government and economic system such as democracy or communism. Hmm. There is something important beneath these ideas, something preceding them.

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Balancing the Teeter Totter: Two Taxonomies

It’s time to turn a corner. Will you turn it with me? I know. Who knows what’s around it? (God.) Well, I’ll tell you what’s up. I would like to share my biblical research with you and others. With the Lord’s help, I plan to look for an agent and a publisher to help me transform my doctoral research project into useful material (spiritual nutrition and exercise) for the Body of Christ. That’s you (and me too!) .

I’d like to use this blog to find other people who are interested in my research topic, so I’m going to share the heart of the research with you. I’d like to ask you to forward my blog to everyone you know who may find meaning and blessing through this research. My topic, suffering and joy, is relevant to everyone.

I’ve worked on this project for three years, praying, searching Scriptures, evaluating life, and seeking God’s leading in my researching and writing. The product is a theology of suffering and joy: the doctrine of the dance between suffering and joy. (The title of this post employs a different metaphor.) I use some some special vocabulary which I will share with you, but don’t let words become walls. I’ll break terms down through meanings and usages.

I have constructed two taxonomies. Taxonomies are filing systems — ways of categorizing and organizing things. The color wheel categorizes colors. Your pantry organizes your food supply. The Plant Kingdom and Animal Kingdom with all their sub-data are taxonomies that help us identify and understand plants and animals.

This study’s first taxonomy, The Taxonomy of Suffering, names our pains. A corresponding Taxonomy of Joy responds to each kind (taxon) of pain. Here is the title of my doctoral research project:



Would this interest you or anyone you know?   Continue reading

Categories: Joy & Suffering -- Good & Evil, Spiritual Growth, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

Anticipating the Future Via Treasures from the Past

It can’t be avoided. The older we get, the more that life is behind us rather than in front of us.  Often I wrestle with this blinding, “under the sun” perspective. I miss much of my past: the chatter of two, little girls and all their activity in our house, the planning of family gatherings, the greatly anticipated arrival of grandparents accompanied by a trunk full of garden goodies, homemade berry and cream pies, and ranger or chocolate chip cookies. Continue reading

Categories: Joy & Suffering -- Good & Evil, Spiritual Growth, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Live and Learn — Traveling and Grandsons

Cliches become cliches because there is some clear core of truth within them. “Live and learn” is one of those. It is a premise found in Scripture and within our personal experiences.

Paul and I returned recently from a lightning round, eight day trip to the midwest. We flew to Chicago, spent the night at our older daughter’s home, picked up a rental car the next day and drove

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Input from You

Dear Reader,

I am considering making some changes to this blog, so I need your input.

JNC, was birthed on Novemeber 1, 2011 as a part of the ministry of Troy Christian Schools in Troy, Ohio. As the school’s Curriculum Director, I was the author of each post, hoping to encourage parents. After I retired in the summer of 2012, the school turned it over to me at my request to develop on my own. JNC has no connection to the school, so I am free to shape this blog as I see fit.

Not only do people have many reasons for writing blogs, readers choose to read for various reasons. So, please respond to a few questions listed below. Continue reading

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Oil of Gladness: Recommendation and Recipes

How about an easy read today. Something light, if you call oil something light. Well, the Bible speaks of the “oil of gladness,” so this topic will be light-hearted and nutritious.  I’ve been wanting to get to a health topic. Continue reading

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Peace to You All

Reflection Pool at a Christian retreat in Ohio

Reflection Pool at a Christian retreat in Ohio

I want to welcome some new  readers to JNC. I hope you read some old posts. Feel free to make yourself at home on this blog.

Journey North began as a blog project for Continue reading

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Reaching a Summit

Good morning! It may be later in the day for you, but pretend you are enjoying a lovely sunrise with me as you read. The sun is busy rising over the mountains, casting pastel hues. It’s a happy morning — cheerful skies lighting our hilly horizon. My heart is light and happy and relieved today. A load of responsibility has been lifted. I’ve been climbing a personal mountain, as some of you know. All of us have mountains to climb — placed before us by genes, heritage, circumstance, and those of our own choosing.  Many mountains surround us.  Some we must climb, and others, in our fascination, we choose to climb. We are determined to make an attempt.

Years ago, Continue reading

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Trips South and Past

Paul and I returned the other day from a mini-trip to southern Arizona. We live in central Arizona — in the middle of a huge valley a mile high, surrounded by the Bradshaw and Mingus Mountain ranges.  We live in a planned community, a development that is less than ten years old at the edge of Prescott Valley. When we moved here almost six years ago from Ohio, we most certainly moved to cowboy country.  The open valley behind us is largely untouched by humans, and we hope it remains that way.  Some cattle and horses lazily meander the meadows. Of course, ten years ago, our development was part of that natural setting. Our development is named Quailwood Meadows, a very appropriate name. Continue reading

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Four Good Reads

I’m still not mentally prepared to return to our good versus evil topic, so good reads seems good to me right now. Hope it’s good for you too. Good. Of course, we will find that the good versus evil theme threads through most writings of any genre in various ways — it’s a ubiquitous reality. (I love the word, ubiquitous.) For now, I have four books to mention to you as good reads. Take your choice. Continue reading

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