Peace in Platte

Platte paper

I’m back in South Dakota for a few days. It’s the last hunt of the year. My buddies and I made the front page of the paper on opening weekend. Here’s the whole front page, a nice slice of small town life:

Platte front page

It’s been a busy fall, teaching a seminary class, launching a book line, rewriting and editing my own book, and planning a couple conferences. Nothing has given my soul rest like my hunting trips — duck hunting in Central Minnesota, pheasant hunting in South Dakota.

I’m not much of one for giving advice, but here’s some: get outside this month. In the midst of busy church schedules and busy personal schedules, end-of-the-year pressures and work and challenges with family interactions, take some time to connect to God in nature.

I’ll close with another image, one I took last evening at sunset.

sunset in SoDak

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.

Hunting and Writing: Not That Far Apart

Hunting, I predict, will be the next hipster activity. Having taken to carving their own meat, mixing handcrafted cocktails, and growing mustaches, I expect that a bunch of skinny-jeaners are going to join me afield in the coming years.

Yesterday, hunter and writer Steven Rinella wrote about how he is both a serious writer and a big game hunter, a combo to which I also aspire:

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