Oh the arrogance, the desperate seeking of attention, the need to be liked and followed…quite honestly none of these are behind this. On the contrary I fought against doing something like this for a long time, and yet I needed a medium to get some of the thoughts swirling around in my head out so that I can go to sleep at night. The subject matter may be a little weighty, sometimes I will go into areas that I am by no means an expert in, sometimes I may become hard to understand-even though I am a thinker that doesn’t mean that every thought is fully developed, even though I am starting out in a very systematic way I can almost guarantee that I will not remain there. Perhaps it is madness and folly, but I’m having fun with it and no one is making you read this anyways 🙂
If you don’t know me personally and are still reading this blog, my name is Neil White, I am a Lutheran (ELCA) Pastor, currently I am the Senior Pastor for Rejoice Lutheran in Frisco, Texas. I’m always looking to learn something new and so my experiences have taken me from a degree in Civil Engineering, to five years in the Army, to Seminary, to spending time continuing to learn as a pastor, and studying languages and then Family Systems, Marriage and Family Therapy and well anything else I happen to get my hands on. Still learning, still reflecting and apparently still blogging.
I know people have come to my blog from various places and with various interests and I think that is a wonderful thing, and I know that most people won’t read everything I write but sometimes it is nice to know what is coming (at least as close as I can guess at this point):
- I have worked my way through Exodus, Deuteronomy, Esther, Psalms 1-51, Ecclesiastes, Jeremiah, and Haggai and Revelation. I am working through the Gospel of Matthew and upon completion of this major project I will resume working through Psalms. This is a part of my personal discipline and study, where I attempt to work through a chapter a week. These are a part of my own growth and I have intentionally picked parts of the Bible I am less familiar with in the past, although I am working through Matthew because I have a proposed reading of that text I’ve not seen other places that I want to work through in a systematic way. I have learned a lot from writing through parts of the Bible and even the strangest and most alien parts have yielded some interesting insights for me at least.
- One of my current projects is capturing some of the teaching I do and currently I’m working on a seven session class on thinking about faith in a digital age. How can we as people of faith use the wisdom of our tradition to think about how we live a good life and what that means in a world saturated with digital technology.
- A part of what I do within my congregation and community is attempt to work towards healing. Like many I have been shocked by the 2016 election and the aftermath and so I have begun writing more political and cultural posts in the hope that I can learn about how we can heal at least a part of the brokenness in our society.
- There are also a number of posts about Religious Art that is reflective of the Revised Common Lectionary (a three year pattern of readings followed by many congregations). This comes out of my style of preaching which is highly visual. As we enter what some people call a post-literate age one of the gifts of the pre-literate age was the teaching that was done through art for hundreds of years. I’ve found that both ancient art (and anything beyond 100 years past the artist’s death is considered public domain) as well as modern art when the artist has granted approval can be very insightful into how we approach the scriptures. I have not been able to be as faithful with this lately and next year I will be breaking with the lectionary to preach directly through the gospel of Mark so perhaps something will evolve from that on here as well.
- The Creativity Project which was prompted by a light bulb moment when I was writing my autism posts. I’m going to spend some time exploring creativity, spirituality, imagination and inspiration and I’ve got some both psychological and philosophical works I am reading to explore these thoughts. I’m excited to see what I learn and to share.
- I still plan to get back to the Place of Authority historical posts and I have the reading on hand to continue that work, so it will come as well.
- Poetry comes and goes with its inspiration and time, and my life has been a little crazy lately , but when ideas come I try to capture them and write them down so that hopefully I can return to them when there is time, and I’ve got several written down on pieces of paper and notebooks at home and at work that need a little attention (or in some cases they are just vague ideas at this point) but as I get time they will get attention as well.
- Finally I’m going to make an offer to you as readers. If you have a question or topic you would like me to respond to or answer I’m going to take the risk and make that option available. Some of you I know and some I don’t, but one of the things I like to do with the communities I’ve served is to have intentional times where people can bring whatever question they like and I answer on the spot (and sometimes the most honest answer is I don’t know). But I do have the privilege of spending more time thinking about spiritual, philosophical and, to a point, psychological issues than the average person. You don’t have to agree with me, and I typically don’t give short answers but my post on Templars, Gnostic Gospels and Conspiracy Theories came out of one of those questions. So the offer is there, and just post as a comment either here on the About page or email a question to me at firstname.lastname@example.org (just let me know it is a signoftherose question). I enjoy the challenge of this in person and I don’t know if anyone will take me up on the offer here, but it is available. You can either just comment or use the comment form on this post and the About page, and I will respond as soon as I can.
Perhaps I’m overly ambitious and more than a bit geeky when it comes to a lot of this stuff, but I enjoy the writing and the learning that goes along with it.