Once again, we begin…

This post could also be titled ‘Don’t bother reading’ or ‘Breaking News: Blog determined to have another go… and this time it’ll work’

I’ve never been good at this whole writing something interesting every week thing. I like to take it slow in my writing, writing essays and letting them sit in the drawer and ferment til the ink fades and the paper crumbles.

I thought it would be cool to have a blog concerned with theology and librarianship. Not theological librarianship, that is concerning the creation and maintenance of theological libraries… but rather what interested me is where God meets humanity in the stacks. How does the Gospel resonate in library policy? How does our understanding of the great cloud of witnesses change when their witness is leather bound and alphabetized? Isn’t it about time we articulate an eschatology of the book?

This go around I dare not be so bold. I just need to write. Finely or poorly, I just need to write. If this blog actually turns into something articulate and meaningful, so be it. Until then i’ll be content to be one more of the millions of bloggers shouting into the wind.

On my own, this blog will return to electronic dust. Only through the Holy Spirit will this seed germinate into some worthy fruit… I ask for your prayers.

Preachers on Preaching

http://pca.st/ggQX

The idea of serving my churcb has always been appealing. Standing before a congregation week after week has never been tempting (there was a brief moment in the fall of 2007, but thats a whole story in itself). My calling has so far kept me in the pews, where i have been blessed to witness the spirit move hearts using the voice, the words, even the body of the preacher.

This podcast, produced by The Christian Century magazine, looks behind the curtain that is the pulpit and examines how preachers see their own work. Each week Matt Fitzgerald has  a forty five minute conversation with an american preacher. The podcast celebrates the variety of traditions represented in american christianity. Althougb the intended audience is clergy, as a layman i have appreciated the insight provided by clergy in describing not only what they beleive occura when they preach, but also how they have developed over the years.

I highly reccommend this podcast for clergy and layperson alike. I have been very impressed by the variety of guest preachers and the depth of the conversation.

Gluttony and the Christian Librarian

For the two of you who read this (Hi Mom!), just a forewarning: This post is going to get religiousy and honestly a bit rambling. i’m out of practice with this whole writing thing. Lent has begun and i’m entering a period of self and communal reflection. If my poor writing is too painful to endure, try coming back in a couple weeks.

The first law of library science is ‘Books are for Use’. While preparing for the needs of  posterity is a great and worthy endeavor, it is not the be all and end all of librarianship. Instead of preserving for use, we should use to preserve. Only in the using of books and information can that information be truly saved for the next generation.

I find myself amassed with a large personal collection of books (last count had me in the vicinity of 4,020s). Calculating how many books one can read in a lifetime is a popular endeavor. (From the Telegraph Blog) Certainly I don’t intend to read this many books in a life time, even if I find a few golden years of retirement. I fool myself into believing I am saving them for posterity, but truth be told I am a glutton for the written word.

Gluttony isn’t merely mass consumption. Its mass consumption without production. Here I fall short, even with the handy title of “librarian”. I have yet to truly take all that I have read and do something worthy with it. A good third of my collection is religious in nature. This stings in particular. While I have somewhat above average knowledge of religion, and access to even greater through my books and personal relations, I haven’t done squat with it. I have horded it. I see an ivory tower book on Barth’s understanding of the Trinity and I lap it up. But what do I do with it? It turns to fat, clogging my heart, making me slow to respond to opportunities to share the gospel (I even shudder at the thought) that present themselves around me.

One of the things I will be attempting to do this Lenten season is wake up at four to start my day. With a nod to the rather obsessive founder of my denomination, I will try to order my life to pursue a personal and communal holiness which I have neglected this last year. It will be difficult and I will be rather grumpy for a good week and a half, but hopefully it’ll be worth it. And worth it not in the sense that ‘i’ll be a better person’ but rather ‘i’ll be a better member of my community.’ I won’t be so selfish with my knowledge, my books, my time. During this time I hope to not only read and pray but to stand up when i’m done and do something in this world. Whether it be to serve as a religious reference librarian on second life, or get to work early and and spend my breakfast time with some of our transient citizens, I need to turn my faith into works because though I am dead, there will be a time all of us are risen.

I hate blogging

Let me explain, ranting is fine. Ranting is the common currency on which the internet runs. the rant will be the pulp romance genre of future catalog librarians.

(To be honest its hard to take seriously any technology in which my much younger self used with such fervor during a month long fight of words that ended my first “romance”.)

But ranting and job security rarely go hand in hand. When they do, its quite brilliant and i’m very envious of those that can pull it off. For now i’ll keep my rants close to my chest, along with my friends.

Blogging involves a level of confidence in one’s writing which is baffling. I’m a tinkerer. I enjoy editing, I enjoy reviewing, I enjoy the creative power of that red pen I so dreaded in grade school. If I were to create a draft of a blog entry, it would not end there. Revisions are a must! Plural! Endlessly changing this definitive article here, that prepositional phrase there.

Having said this, I need to get over myself. The year is 2014, if for only a couple more months. For the moment this is what I am asked to do, poorly and inconsistently.