When I started this journey back in 2012 of writing I never imagined that I would be still going 500 posts later. It is an immense amount of writing and learning from the process. I’ve had lots of times where an idea has run out or where I’ve taken a break or moved in different directions, but as I look back on the previous 499 posts there is a lot there.
When I began Sign of the Rose in 2012 I was an associate pastor preaching once a month on average and I needed a creative outlet. For the past four years I’ve been a lead pastor, preaching around 55 times a year. I’ve also remarried, seen my oldest graduate and go off to college. I’ve been overseen the planning and am currently overseeing a building addition to my congregation, I’ve stated an alliance of interfaith leaders (Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Hindu currently) in my community, acted as dean for the Dallas Area Metro North conference of my denomination, and serve on the student health advisory committee for Frisco ISD. There are occasionally times where I wish things would slow down a bit and I would have more time to write, but I genuinely enjoy my work and engagement in the community.
Many who discovered Sign of the Rose probably came here because of my poetry and I thank you for that. There are well over a hundred poems on the site, and there are some I am particularly fond of. Others were experiments that never really came to completion and I try to keep a writing book nearby for those ideas which come up so that I can write at least a few words down for a time when I may be able to return to it. Sadly, many of the ideas are still stuck within the pages and I would love to get back to a place where I am weekly taking the time to develop some of these ideas.
I am a curious person. I enjoy learning and writing helps me understand how I think about things. In contrast to the dictum ‘I think therefore I am’ for me ‘I write so I can process what I think.’ In five hundred posts there is a lot of ground covered on various things. The space really is like a chalkboard for my mind as I work through things. I also find it a useful place for me to go back to and look at what I’ve written about an idea or a topic.
I know that for many people the idea of working systematically through biblical texts sounds tedious. On the one hand it is hard work, even as a student of the Bible. Jeremiah, Deuteronomy, Ecclesiastes and most recently Exodus are not books that most people spend a lot of time in. Exodus is perhaps an exception but even in this book most people only engage a portion of the book. What I can say is that even though it is hard work it has been worth it. Working through these books has really made me think about how the people understood God, the society they were attempting to create or advocate for, and they make the story of Jesus richer and fuller. I will continue with this. I just finished the last chapter of Exodus, so I will transition back to the Psalms for a bit as I figure out which book is next, but at this point I look at the work on Exodus, Deuteronomy, Esther, Ecclesiastes, Jeremiah, Haggai and the first thirty Psalms (so far) and I’m impressed with what I have been able to write.
I’ve recently realized that with the volume of what is on this site I need to rethink organization. The index, which hasn’t been updated since March) currently runs 14 pages when it is printed out. One thing I am planning to do is to take each Biblical reflection book and create a page for it that will have all the individual chapters/posts and that will take a lot of those posts off the index page.
I still think of this as a hodgepodge of interesting work. I plan to keep on adding and maybe at some point I’ll reach a point where it no longer feeds an interest in me, but I’m not there yet. If anything, I would like to write more. I have more ideas than time, at least for now. But I never expected to reach five hundred posts in roughly five years. Who knows what the future might hold. Until then thank you for visiting this strange little place where my mind sometimes works.