Once upon a time, I thought I would use my PhD in Rhetorical Theory and Criticism to teach college students how to analyze speeches. Instead, I started helping people read the Bible. I’ve been doing that for more than thirty years. In small groups and conversations, I try to listen to the text, listen to people and connect the two in ways that are practical and often unexpected.
Recently, I’ve been writing about changing our routines. I wrote readers for Advent and Lent, and then gathered my comments on the Sermon on the Mount to give practical examples. My most recent book, “A Great Work”, is a conversation with Nehemiah which, in the words of one reader, “offers the gift of allowing people to feel they can understand without having to be scholars.” Someone talked about the literary device of imaginary conversations. I don’t think they were imaginary, but I understand.
I was a communication prof, college administrator, and, since 2000, an associate pastor. Currently, I’m the executive pastor at Grabill Missionary Church. (My published writings do not necessarily reflect the positions of that church.)
Nancy and I have been married since 1983 and have two children (one married). We walk at least two miles a day, conversing the whole time. We’ve been doing that for 7 years. It’s been a stabilizing element in our marriage. And it was one part of what helped me lose 45 pounds in a year and keep them off for another year.
I have been blogging since 2005. In 2008, I started 300wordsaday.com, where I try to write in simple language about following Jesus, 300 words at a time.
Follow me on twitter as @jnswanson. And email me at jnswanson at gmail dot com. And, thanks to Frank Reed, you can learn more about being a social media chaplain. And find my books on Amazon by following anewroutine.com.