The Role of Memory in Prayer

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By Professor Brandon Spun

Memories are not just about the past. They are images, narratives, promises, and ideas which we carry with us in the present moment.

How I understand who I am and what I am doing right now is dependent upon memory.

Memory is complex because we are not indifferent to that which we “treasure up” in our hearts (Luke 2:19); we are selective. We are editing and framing our experiences, not just passively receiving them.

Without an inner-editor, the data would overwhelm us. The problem is that we also tend to edit our stories in order to suit ourselves. We selectively forget that time we cut someone off in traffic; the food item we ‘forgot’ to pay for; the time we snapped at the kids. Sometimes we tuck something away in a corner, hoping to ignore it, or simply because we don’t have the time or energy for it.

There are other times that memory betrays us (in both senses), returning again and again to a moment of guilt, shame, anger, or pain. Memory can be one of our most merciless critics and companions.

This helps direct our attention to the role which memory can play in our prayers. In the context of prayer, memory is not just a record of events which can be revisited, but a witness to ourselves, to our values, to our living-beliefs, and to realities which have yet to be penetrated by truth and love.

At the End of the Day

After a busy day, our brains are disorganized and reverberating with new experiences. Part of the business of sleep is to organize and quiet the confusion. This is why sleep plays such a fundamental role in learning. There is a natural cycle in which new information is integrating into the organization and orderliness of our minds. Without sleep we experience forgetfulness and confusion, and we quickly become overwhelmed.

Sleep doesn’t just refresh the body, it aids the interpretive power and processes of the mind. In a similar way, prayer re-collects the soul, giving it rest and clarity in truth.

Taking Captives

Liturgy and prayer reorganize the data of our lives. The soul encounters within itself a certain level of discord and disorder each day. Without prayer, we awake and start spinning plates which all seem equally essential to our existence. Christian or not, we can experience the world through a lens of fear and desire which is highly disordered.

None of us live our lives in the perfect light of God. And so each day we experience a mix of that which is true and pure and good, and that which is not. Prayer and liturgy bring all of this (the good, the bad, and the ugly) into the light of truth.

What we have been treating as essential or high priority might get re-labeled as “another day’s trouble.” What we have considered shameful or embarrassing can be reorganized as forgiven and forgotten. Something which received a hair’s-breadth of attention can be brought to serious account.

Through liturgy and prayer, we remember who we are and who God is, and as we enter into these truths, into the rest of God, the flotsam and jetsam of memory is brought under the interpretive government of God’s Word.

Memory and the Heart

This is where prayer can play such a powerful role, not only in correcting, but also in directing.

Despite our own efforts, we remember things which sit uncomfortably in us. We have a great time out with friends, but something doesn’t seem right. In prayer, we revisit the evening and remember someone who clearly felt left out. Perhaps we can give them some love and attention. Next time, we may slow down and respond to such a need.

We may remember a comment that someone made, a boundary we crossed, or a kind word we failed to say. This prayerful review of the day directs us to repentance and to the fruits of repentance.

In prayer God looks with and remembers with us. His Spirit guides us to places of confession, service, gratitude, and truth. In this sense, memory is not just a quirk of the human mind, but a witness (of actions, values, and habits) open to God’s power.

When we bring our memories into prayer, we re-member our experiences with God and thus are enabled to begin seeing ourselves and others afresh. This function of memory allows us to embody the reality that we are members of Christ, under his headship. We invite God to actively interpret our lives in his Word and bring to light that which is in darkness.

Memory Unites

Not surprising, what turns up in such prayer is often ways that I have been ‘disembodied’–in which I have not had His mind in me. But this kind of prayer also institutes gratitude, the remembering of kindnesses and connections.

This submission of our minds to God is part of bringing all things captive unto Him. As we do so, we experience a wholeness in Him. He gathers the captives and those from far off and collects them into his body. He brings us into a rich and peaceful land. We become more intimately integrated in ourselves, in God, and into the lives of those around us.

Thus the power of memory in prayer is in drawing all incongruity under the mercy and truth of God.  It awakens the mind to the daily patterns of spiritual slumber and permits us to engage life wherever we experience incoherence. Prayer becomes not cliché or repetition, but engagement with the redemptive power of God.

In One Body

The height of the enactment of memory, of being made whole in God, is our communion with the crucified Christ which is also our communion with one another. Communion is the central ‘memory’ of the church in which we are ourselves re-membered or re-collected (1st Cor. 11:24-25). The preeminent act of memory for the Christian is the experience and reality of being one in the body of Christ.

(This article was originally posted here, where you can find more of Mr. Spun’s brilliant musings, and yes, even some of his Terrible, Awful Jokes.)

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Collars and Commitment

by Perry Tate

For most people, the idea of settling down is appealing, whether that means having a steady job, getting married, starting a family, or some combination. But others have so much more they want to do: enjoy relationships with different people, experience all sorts of pleasures, try new things in general, travel and see the world, and do anything but settle. They dislike, and even fear, commitment. The movie Lady and the Tramp makes a strong case for the benefits of commitment, through the recurring idea of dog collars.

The idea of the collar or lack thereof is presented in four different ways throughout the movie. The first way is through the eyes of Jock and Trusty, who represent the greater population of dogs. The second way is how Lady views a collar, particularly her own collar. Her view does include someof the meaning that the
other dogs think it has, but it goes far beyond that for her. The third way is how Tramp views the collar and his own lack of one. He sees it all quite differently from how Lady does, and he spends a great deal of the movie trying to sway her over to his way of seeing the collared and collar free life. The last way is how Tramp comes to see the collar by the end of the movie.

When Lady gets her collar, she immediately shows it to her friends Jock and Trusty. Jock comments that it must be expensive. Trusty is surprised and glad to see it. “How time does fly,” he comments. “And now, there she is, a full-grown lady. Wearin’ the greatest honor man can bestow. The badge of faith and respectability.” Like most dogs in the movie, Jock and Trusty see the collar as a natural part of becoming a respectable pet. For them, settling down is the ideal. It’s what everyone’s supposed to do. Moreover, Jock and Trusty have low opinions of dogs don’t have and don’t want collars. They distrust and dislike Tramp initially. However, by the end of the movie, Jock and Trusty have this assumption challenged when Tramp saves the baby from the rat. They realize they misjudged him all along and that a collar does not inherently make a dog good and the lack of one does not necessarily make a dog bad.

Lady shares their positive views of collars, but not their negative stereotypes. To her, the collar primarily means that she has a family that loves her. She has someone with her for the long run that she can care for and protect. Her view of the world may be narrow in its scope, but what she does experience has far more depth than simply a life of trying to experience all there is to do and see. She has purpose, happiness, and contentment in a collared life. She’s proud of her collar and all that it means, and doesn’t understand why someone would want something different; however, she does not automatically assume the worst of those who see it differently. Perhaps it is partly because she is naïve, but it also has to do with her good and kind nature. This allows her to give Tramp a chance and eventually bring him to know the true meaning of a collar.

Tramp begins with a radically different view of collars; he sees them as an end of freedom. He takes Lady to the top of a hill to look out over a sprawling scene. All Lady notices is the pretty homes and yards below, but Tramp points out that there is a whole wide world out there full of places to see and things to try. For him, collars narrow that world down to only the houses and the yards. He wants her to open her eyes to what a dog’s life can really be when he isn’t living life on a leash tied down to one family; it’s the freedom to go wherever and do whatever they want.

Tramp sees the monogamy of collars as destroying the freedom of relationships. When Lady asks him whether or not he has a family, he replies that he has one for every night of the week. He has a lot of families, but none of them have him; he gets a little bit from everyone and gives nothing back. There are promiscuous undertones to this idea, and they are further emphasized when Tony, the owner of the Italian restaurant, tells Tramp that he should settle down with this one (Lady). When Lady hears this, she is annoyed, and asks Tramp, “This one?” Tony implied that Tramp had brought many girls around there. This is confirmed when Lady goes to the pound and Peg tells her about all of Tramp’s previous conquests.

Another aspect of Tramp’s dislike for collars is it forces a dog to take responsibility. In one scene, Tramp asks Lady to come scare some chickens in their coop with him. Lady is unsure and thinks that it sounds bad, and Tramp says, “That’s what makes it fun.” It becomes evident that Tramp enjoys getting in trouble, and since he doesn’t have a collar, he can get away with it. He’s also notorious for his ability to work his way out of any tricky and incriminating situation, but he’s only able to do this because he doesn’t have any accountability. A collar, and by extension a family, would mean that he would have to face the repercussions of his actions.

Perhaps the most significant part of Tramp’s dislike for collars is his distrust of humans. It is never explained why Tramp has this distrust; perhaps he had a family who mistreated him, or other dogs had told him of their own poor experiences, or he is just making assumptions based on observation. When Lady is muzzled, Tramp says that’s what happens when a dog attaches himself to one family. They are mistreated, silenced, made docile, and put second behind everything else whenever something new comes along. That explains even further why he is constantly switching between families. He has them, but they never have him; in that way, he can never be hurt by them. To commit to one family would be to make himself vulnerable. Not having a collar means he does not have to put his heart at risk.

As Tramp spends time with Lady, he comes to see things differently. By her example, he begins to understand the appeal of having a collar and giving all of one’s love to a single family. He develops great affection for Lady throughout their time together, and he eventually falls in love with her. Because he cares for her, he begins to care for everything that is important to her. When the rat sneaks into the baby’s room, Tramp immediately protects the baby and kills the rat, for Lady’s sake.

After Tramp is adopted by Lady’s family, he receives a collar of his own. In part, Tramp’s assessment of collars was right. He lost the freedom to wander between families or flirt with other dogs. But he gained Lady. He gained puppies of his own to nurture and raise. He gained a home where he could stay for more than just a single night. He gained a family who would love him and stay with him. Ultimately, he gained something worth living for, loving, and protecting. A portion of the world was cut off to him by the collar, but a better world opened up to him for the first time.

 

 

A Bit of Poetry

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The Creative Writing students have been working on poetry this term. Here are a few samples of their work:

JASE

By: Christian Brewer

My dad told me I nearly killed my mom.
Before I’d breathed myself, I tried to take
The breath from her. As I grew, she produced
A hormone, “Beta HCG.” “A bomb,”
They called me then, “putting her life at stake.”
It’s a hard thing, being your own mom’s noose.

They never called me that. They even laugh
About it now: late nights and I.V. drips.
I wonder if it ever crossed their minds,
When the doctor brought in the research staff
And told my parents she was in death’s grip,
To let me die rather than face that grind.

She said nine months of that had helped her learn
One child was good, she laughs, “You almost killed me.
“You think I want to try again?” It showed
The hate inside, the darkest clot which yearned
To run. They said my birth had set them free.
“Jase,” dad said smiling proudly as he strode

Across the natal unit floor. I cried
Like hell, he said, devoid of any clue
Of what I’d done. She cried, “Is he alright?”
It crossed their minds just once to let me die;
Now here I was. Their son, whose birth meant new
Attempts of life, no late nights, but daylight.

HELEN

By: Elizabeth Dowdell

It never should have come to this, this mess
Of war and death. I never thought that I
Would be the one for whom so many die.
Ten years… did no one think this an excess?
And do they truly die for me? I’d guess
That early on they’d claim that I was why
They came, and think so still, each time they cry
A curse upon my face. But I confess:
I don’t regret the choice I made that night –
It was my choice, I will not stoop to blame
Divine duress; I know I freely willed
To leave – And whether that was wrong or right,
You cannot lay upon me all the shame
And guilt of every man this war has killed.

JOY

By: Courtney Crampton

They buried her behind the house today.
Two months—just two—changed their lives forever.
A tiny little thing; blue eyes that sparkled
Like she knew what the doctors had told them,

Like she knew she would die. But she didn’t
Seem to mind at all. She just smiled, happy
To be here, happy to see the blue sky (though she
Didn’t even know what blue was.) She was

Happy to hear her mama sing her to sleep.
She can’t hear her now, can’t hear her mama’s
Cries. She won’t hear any cries at all anymore.
The first day she was home, they just sat there,

Watching every twitch of her little toes.
She was beautiful. “Ours,” he’d say. “Ours,” she’d smile.
When she got the hiccups, mama just laughed.
Then the baby wouldn’t sleep, but kept bawling.

Mama closed her tired eyes, “Please, oh God, please,
Let her stop crying.” But she’d give the world
To hear that baby cry again. When the
Neighbor said, “It’ll be okay.” She thought,

How does she know? How does she know it’ll
Be okay? She felt like shouting. But the
Neighbor had four perfect, grown babies at
Home. She’d never lost one. She didn’t know.

Those tiny hands encircled her pointer
Finger; The same hands that are now beneath
The dirt. “Come to bed, dear,” he’d say. She’d just
Stare at the empty crib without weeping.

They buried her behind the house today.
Two months—just two—changed their lives forever.
The small gray stone stuck out under the tree;
“Joy,” it read. There they laid their joy away.

DAFFODILS FOR NOW

By: Sara Nixon

The yellow caught her eye.
She clutched her basket’s boxy arms and walked into the store.
The flowers come from dairy farms with fields of yellow dafs.

She spots the yellow specks
with cut stalks tied with twine, and stops. The dancing heads invited her
to come.
“I need to save my cash. Just shop.”

Her yellow scarf just matched
his red and yellow shirt that fall.
The boy’s strong hand had found
her brown, long hair. Her world was small. Her world was yellow hues.

But now, the spring had dripped in. And
She only shopped for one now. Alone, her world was big and dark. She strolled around the mounds
of dafs, and then she saw the mark ­ “Two dollars off,” it said.

The yellow found a home
on quilted squares of tablecloth. The yellow caught her eye,
and seemed quite right, she thought to be with her for now.

Tracing the theme of Love in Capon’s The Supper of the Lamb

 

 

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The Supper of the Lamb by Robert Farrar Capon is a witty, delightful ode to the beauty of the world and joy of life in the loose form of a cookbook. Interwoven between the praises of good food and the best ways to cook it is a bold affirmation of the goodness of the created world. Just as God beheld the beauty of His creation and said that it was ‘very good’, we too are to rejoice that creation, loving it for the beauty that God sees in it. We are to love the world, not idolize it by loving it more than God, or by loving a fake version of the world that we create for ourselves. This love should reflect the immense love of God for us and for His creation, being unafraid of the painful cost of love, but willing to take the risk. In this love, we realize a longing for the world beyond this world, which God is preparing for those who love Him.

In Supper of the Lamb, Capon entreats his reader to love and delight in the beauty found in the world that God created. In the beginning of the book he introduces himself as an amateur cook, but he insists that his amateur status is by no means a disadvantage. Indeed he says, “the world may or may not need another cookbook, but it needs all the lovers – amateurs – it can get.” It is in his office as lover that he beseeches us to open our eyes to the world around us and to love it, to allow it to intrigue us, fascinate us, delight us, and to allow us to rejoice in its loveliness. But sadly, man often sinks into a bored indifference to the glories of this world, and the glories of the world have suffered for it in the trashy art and tasteless food of which man serves himself instead. Capon, with his love and his recipes, seeks to turn our gaze back to the good, true, and the beautiful. He entices us to once again become lovers of the sights, tastes, smells, and textures, not just of food, but of all the real things of this world that we can see with our eyes, hold in our hands, hear with our ears, and taste with our mouths.

In loving the world, Capon is not referring to what the things of the world often mean to us: their sentimental value, or what they symbolize to us, rather, he begs us to love them as they are, as God sees them. Why does everything exist? Because God loves it all. Why would He go through the trouble of making and sustaining such diversity if He did not delight in each little bit of it? Capon argues that if one is to truly love the things of this world for what they really are, one will have a profound respect for who and what God created. That love results in an insatiable curiosity to discover everything there is to know about God’s creation, and, being made in the image of God the Creator, man will inevitably create, using God’s works of art to make new works of art whether it’s food, or violins, or suspension bridges. This means to bring us back to viewing things in a very ordinary, real way, not laden with our own symbolic or sentimental values, but recognized for the beautiful things that they are in themselves.

Finally, the more deeply and truly we love the world, the more our hearts are pierced with a yearning for something beyond this world. Indeed, God himself is the primary object of our love, and in His love there is no lack, but even in our happiest moments there is a pang of longing. Our love of this earth is not meant to be fulfilled merely by the loveliness of His Creation here on earth. The beauties of this world, and our love of them are also to prepare us for our home to come, the Promised City, the New Jerusalem in the New Heavens and the New Earth. Capon says:

Why do we marry, why take friends and lovers? Why give ourselves to music, painting, chemistry or cooking? Out of simple delight in the resident goodness of creation, of course; but out of more than that, too. Half of earth’s gorgeousness lies hidden in the glimpsed city it longs to become.

Our tastes, skills, joys, and loves here on this earth will not remain here, they are a part of us, and will accompany us to our final home. In loving this earth, we are whetting our tastes for the glorious new heavens and earth that God is preparing for His people.

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Anneke Seely

Freshman

Plymouth, WI

 

Why New College Franklin?

When I first visited New College Franklin as a sophomore in high school, I knew I wanted to attend. Now that I am here, I cannot even begin to say how much I have been blessed by being a part of the NCF community. The professors and the student body are everything to me.

One of the great attractions of New College Franklin is the overall environment. The whole atmosphere of New College is one of community, which is essential in a college. The sense of having a place that feels like home is exactly what New College is. The students are friendly, encouraging, and helpful. They are quick to answer questions about the college, the curriculum, and life as a student. Whenever I visited, I would find groups of students sitting in coffee shops studying, gathering for breakfast, lunch, or dinner on the weekends, or playing frisbee in the park. They are people of fellowship and I am happy to say I am now one of them.

The fellowship of New College Franklin is only one of the many things I was attracted to. Another benefit to attending NCF is the curriculum. The classes implement the Socratic method, which is a discussion-based method for learning and gaining knowledge in a group setting. This class setting is attractive to me. I can discuss the material with my professor and wrestle through the reading with my classmates without simply being lectured and then left to fend for myself. But the greatest benefit of the curriculum is that they do not simply train you for a specific task. Rather, they prepare you for life. The whole point of classical education is not to provide you with enough information to succeed in one area, but to excel in every subject. It forces you to interact and communicate. It shapes and grows who you are as a whole person.

Kate Deddens writes:

Grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric are in a balanced relationship with knowledge, understanding, and wisdom; that knowledge, understanding, and wisdom are in a balanced relationship with truth, beauty, and goodness; and that truth, beauty, and goodness are in a balanced relationship with humility, harmony, and hierarchy. Thus classical, Christian education is diffracted through intellectual characteristics into transcendent and aesthetic principles and into realms of virtue. Becoming educated through the classical model causes students to follow that trajectory in learning. This is why classical education hones the skills that produce the arts of the truly educated, free man. (Kate Deddens, Classical Educator)

Now, although this was on the topic of the Trivium (the first three liberal arts), it relates the same principles gained through studying the Quadrivium (the four higher liberal arts), as well. I hope that through my time at NCF I will be able to accomplish everything Deddens mentions — and more. I have already gained and accomplished much in the few months that I have been here, and I am eager to learn more.

Socrates once said, The only true wisdom is in knowing that you know nothing.” I believe Fr. James Thornton explains this quote perfectly,

What [Socrates] meant is that the truly educated man is humbled by an understanding that whatever knowledge his education has conferred upon him, that knowledge is always limited, since learning is a quest that is never finished, never complete, but continues until the very end of one’s life.

I did not choose New College to learn a task and leave, but to be filled with knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. Upon finishing, I will not know everything, but I will continue on with the joyous quest.

In New College Franklin’s “Mission & Objectives,” they state,

“Therefore, the ultimate aim of New College Franklin is to raise up and send forth Christian leaders of orthodoxy and orthopraxy who are able to know, preserve and then pass on to future generations a heritage of Trinitarian life in the Lord.”

This is the ultimate reason I chose NCF. I believe New College will encourage me as I live my life fulfilling the commandments of Christ Jesus, nourish me as I struggle through life, and serve as a refreshing reminder every day to faithfully continue in my walk with God. As I have said before, and will continue to say, I have been greatly blessed to be a part of New College Franklin. I have already grown in my relationships with others and with my Savior in the few months here.

I hope that if you are interested in New College Franklin, you will definitely consider coming and checking us out. Our next Prospective Student Weekend is in March (18-20). We would love to have you!

Life in Motion: Michaelmas

When Jenna first showed me her video, I begged to use it for the Journal. Initially she said, “No, it’s not really New College-y. It’s more of my perspective of life here.” But that’s exactly what we wanted and she graciously agreed to share her little film with us. So, here it is: bits and pieces of life in the fall through Jenna’s eyes.

(And I promise we do study here. Occasionally.)

Watch her lovely clip below and catch a little glimpse of what life is like here at NCF.

 

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Sophmore, Michaelmas from Jenna Strawbridge on Vimeo.

Beauty in the Commonplace

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In Jonathan Edwards’ essay “The Beauty of the World,” he presents the inexplicable beauty that is found in common, natural things. Edwards observes that though these things are by far the greatest, what makes them beautiful cannot be expounded upon in scientific terms, or organized systematically. The draw toward common things as objects of great beauty is a popular idea that has been contemplated by poets such as Gerard Manley Hopkins in his works “Pied Beauty” and “God’s Grandeur”. Beauty in everyday life, that may not be readily apparent in its loveliness, is the most profound and complex.

Hopkins, in describing beauty, points his readers to dimpled, dappled, freckled things, to the “stippled” backs of trout.  Hopkins takes on the task of declaring to his readers what is beautiful in God’s creation. He beckons his readers to look at the trout, and mottled skies, quilted landscapes and finches’ wings. They are beautiful because they are commonplace, because they are “pied”, as Hopkins describes, meaning“couple-colored”. They are beautiful because they are natural. Beauty such as this displays God’s magnificence. Edwards suggests that every man-made thing is easily identified as beautiful because it has singled out something its critics already find attractive.

Man’s recognition of beauty in nature is proof that he was made in God’s image. God created the world, and finding it good, saw that it was beautiful. Hopkins says, “The world is charged with the grandeur of God.” Often, men are driven away from this truth, and stray to look at other things in attempts to find beauty. They are attracted to surface beauty that catches the eye and is immediate and obvious in its worth, but this kind of beauty only has the allure of first impressions. There is no depth to this beauty: there is nothing to contemplate, nothing that slowly reveals itself as more apparent the more it is meditated upon. Both the ideas of Edwards and Hopkins harmonize with this: Edwards, when he says, “This beauty is peculiar to natural things, it surpassing the art of man.” The beauty he refers to here is a spiritual beauty, which is reflected in nature. He compares the planets revolving around the sun, aa physical and natural observation, to the universe revolving around God, a spiritual observation. In “God’s Grandeur”, Hopkins says, “And for all this, nature is never spent; There lives the dearest freshness deep down things.” He moves on to say that the sunrise springs up because, like a dove, the Holy Spirit is bent over the world. Again, the Godhead converges with nature in an intimate, truly beautiful, way.

Art – anything man-made – is only beautiful if the artist’s work reflects God and His creation. Imitating the Creator God is not a restriction or limitation that inhibits artists from creating truly beautiful art, but ensures that what is made will be beautiful. God’s revelation of Himself through creation has resulted in a beauty that is a tiny infinity itself: a beauty that is inexhaustible. The observer may not recognize the qualities that make something beautiful right away. The qualities of nature that make it aesthetically pleasing are unchanging. What these qualities are, as Edwards says, may be difficult to identify. Manmade beauty is simple to grasp: it is considered beautiful because it was made for man to consider beautiful. The way in which that plays out may change considerably, depending on era and current popularity, but the beauty of the object is easy to recognize. In nature, the closest a person may come to knowing anything about why creation is beautiful is acknowledging that God created the earth for His glory, and so what we recognize as beautiful in nature is what God considers beautiful. Nature and its attraction are complex, and reflect God in this manner. God’s handiwork is seen through the world, and it is beautiful. If we wish for our art to be beautiful as well, then we must be purposeful in following His designs.

 


Bibliography

Hopkins, Gerard Manley. “Pied Beauty”. poetryfoundation.org. Website accessed October 8, 2015. http://www .poetryfoundation.org/poem/173664

Hopkins, Gerard Manley. “God’s Grandeur”. poetryfoundation.org. Website accessed October 8, 2015. http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/173660

 

Welcome

In a tiny brick church on the corner of Church and 3rd, a handful of eighteen-to-twenty-somethings are reading Plato’s Metaphysics, sculpting heads, memorizing Shakespearian poetry, writing sonnets, studying classical and modern cosmology, and composing contrapuntal music.

I am one of that handful. Sometimes, in the midst of the stress of last-minute paper-writing or the busyness of preparing for a tutoring session, I pause and remember how I ended up at this little college that no one’s ever heard of, and laugh – not a loud, sudden, guttural laugh, but more of a soft one to myself, like a bit of air through my nose. That kind of laugh. I can’t help but laugh: it is a strange and sheer work of the Lord that I am studying here at a small four-year Liberal Arts program called New College Franklin. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

This Journal is our attempt at sharing our life here with you, whether it’s what we’re reading for class or for fun (from the library), or what’s happening in the community of quaint, historic downtown Franklin, Tennessee, or various creative projects we’re working on at the drawing board, what events we’re planning on campus, or in our travels home or elsewhere in wanderings.

We invite you to take a peek at our life here at NCF, to get a flavor for the place we have grown to love and dread to leave.

And now, in an attempt to appear intellectual, I will leave you with a somewhat related quote:

For last year’s words belong to last year’s language

And next year’s words await another voice.

And to make an end is to make a beginning.

(from T.S. Eliot’s Little Gidding)