Ch-Ch-Changes

Laity Lodge at dusk. A wonderfully unique retreat center in the Texas Hill Country.
Laity Lodge at dusk. A wonderfully unique retreat center in the Texas Hill Country.

I can hear the chorus of David Bowie’s 1971 song ringing in my memory. Though the song is called “Changes,” it is notable for the repeated line, “Ch-ch-changes.” If you’re my age and want to feel some nostalgia, you can listen to the song here.

Why am I thinking about “Ch-ch-changes”? Because that’s what I’m experiencing these days. After seven years working for the H. E. Butt Family Foundation (Laity Lodge, The High Calling), I am moving on to new challenges.

The first of these challenges is a commentary on Ephesians. I’ve been working away at this slowly, but I need to spend several months focusing on this project in order to complete it. It will be a volume in the Story of God commentary series, published by Zondervan. Commentary writing is painfully slow, and I need to back away from other work in order to finish this project by next summer’s deadline. I am grateful to the Foundation for making it possible for me to concentrate on my writing.

The next of the challenges is a work in progress. I’ll keep you posted as my future becomes clearer.

I feel a mix of emotions at this moment, as you can imagine. These last seven years have been amazing ones for me and my family. Our association with the Foundation – each one of us has worked for the organization – has been life-changing. We are extremely grateful for all that we’ve experienced through the Foundation, including the chance to work alongside some of the finest people we have ever known. We have been greatly blessed by the work we have shared in and the relationships we have forged. We are particularly grateful to Howard and Barbara Dan Butt, and to David and Deborah Rogers, for their support, friendship, and love. We know that God has great things in store for the Foundation, and we trust the same is true for our family. We’re excited about many new possibilities, even as we are sad for many losses.

Yet, without loss, there isn’t growth, or adventure, or even faithful discipleship. Time and again, I’m reminded that Jesus calls us (including me) to give up our lives in order to follow him. I don’t like the giving up part very much, but I know from experience that God works in and through all things, and that he “works all things together for good” (Romans 8:28).

In case you’re wondering how this change in my professional life will affect my blogging, I have bad news and good news. The bad news is that Alissa Wilkinson, who has been the major contributor to my blog during the last couple of years, will be blogging here no longer. Alissa has been a fine partner in this blog and has attracted quite a following. (Actually, she already had a huge following because of her prolific and engaging writing.) If you want to keep on following Alissa, check out her website website (alissawilkinson.com) and Watch This Way at CT (http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/opinion/columnists/watch-this-way/). Alissa, who is an assistant professor of English and humanities at The King’s College in New York, is a wise commentator on all things cultural, not to mention an outstanding writer. I’ve been proud to have her as a contributor to my blog, and am thankful for the friendship we’ve developed through this and other collaborations. Thanks, Alissa!

The good news is that I am returning to the blogging world. My workload at the Foundation was such that I had little time for blogging. Now that I have more freedom, I look forward to chipping my two cents into the digital world of ideas.

So, now you know why David Bowie’s song “Changes” keeps echoing in my mind. “Ch-ch-changes . . . .”

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