Some Changes Here at Theoblogy

As you can see above, I had an epic weekend of hunting in and around Huron, South Dakota with my new friend, Jorge. I also preached at Grace Episcopal Church in Huron and met many of that church’s wonderful people. And if Albert looks tired in that photo, it’s cuz he is. We arrived home at noon today, and he’s not moving.

There are few things in the world that I like more than hunting. It has become a real focus of what I want in life: time in the outdoors, with my dog and friends, and soon with my kids (once they’re old enough).

Recently, Courtney asked me if there’s anything else in my life that is like hunting — that is, something that’s all-consuming of my mental capacities, something that totally absorbs me and allows me to leave everything else behind. I thought about it and said, No, nothing else has that effect on me.

As I’ve struggled to understand myself better — and the controversies on this blog have played a role in pushing me to do that — I’ve been focusing on what I can learn about being an Enneagram 8. On the drive to and from Huron, I listened to Suzanne Stabile’s lectures, “The Aggressive Stance.” It’s only a part of the puzzle that is me, but it’s been very helpful to embrace the doing center of an Enneagram 8. I’ve talked to Suzanne about this on the phone as well, and she’s encouraged me to start thinking through how my writing sounds to those in the thinking and feeling centers, and to those in the withdrawing and reflective stances.

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Preaching in the Dakotas

We’re less than two months away from hunting season, so I’m actively looking for opportunities to preach in North and South Dakota, particularly when the preaching gig includes a hook-up for pheasant, duck, or goose hunting. If you want to barter your pulpit for some hunting, drop me a line.

Labs Get No Love at Westminster

Who needs Westminster when your dog can do this?

The only dog I’ve ever owned is a Lab, and the only dog I’ll ever own is a Lab. They are, hands down, God’s favorite breed. They must be, or they wouldn’t be so incredibly awesome.

Well, the heathens at Westminster don’t seem to think so. And now the Labs themselves are so worked up about it that they’ve begun calling in sports radio shows:

“Hey thanks for having me. Longtime listener, first time caller. Look, I’m just going to be straight up with you: I’m a Labrador retriever. And I’m sick of losing at Westminster. Sick of it. It’s driving me nuts. This year we didn’t even make the cut in the sporting group. I’m embarrassed.”

“Thank you…is it Snickers? Snickers. Well, look, I hear you. There have been 137 Westminster Dog Shows and from what I can tell, a Labrador has never won. Is that true? They’re nodding in the booth. Yeah, a Lab has never won. Well, what should be done, Snickers?”

“I think we should hire Phil Jackson.”

Read the rest: Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on Sports Radio: Longtime Listener, First-Time Barker—Jason Gay – WSJ.com.

Hunting: It’s More Sublime than You Might Think

Here’s the text of the pecha kucha talk I gave at Emergence Christianity last week:

The joy of hunting is sublime. Surprisingly sublime, when you consider that the climax of the endeavor comes with an explosion, in which a firing pin makes a tiny dent on the metal boot of a shotgun shell, compressing gunpowder and thereby causing an explosion that ejects dozens of pellets at breathtaking velocity through a metal tube and, if fate is on your side, into the flesh of a bird on the wing. Surprisingly sublime for an activity that ends, when successful, with blood and death.

I did not grow up hunting. My father is not a hunter, nor were my grandfathers. It is a chosen avocation of mine, often distasteful to those who share my vocation. I have yet to meet another PhD in theology in the field. Instead, I hunt with firefighters and Army Reservists and computer repairmen.

I hunt only birds, because hunting for me is all about the dog. It all starts with the dog.

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