Christmas 2004

Dear family and friends,

Like last year, this year will again be characterized by the word “change.” This time last year I was in the process of resigning from Southwestern Seminary. Shortly afterward, I was offered a position at the University of North Texas, where I had been teaching as an adjunct for about 3 years. The position is Program/Project Coordinator for a grant that the School of Library and Information Sciences received from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. About the time the grant really got going, we were asked to submit a request for another round of the same grant. I am having a great time in the position and enjoy working with the students. Additionally, I am still adjunct teaching.

When I wrote the letter last year, I was looking to buy a house. I found one on the north side of Fort Worth (near Alliance Airport) about 30 minutes from work. It is starting to feel like a home. Of course, home ownership brings things I’m not use to – lawn care, putting up Christmas lights, winter weather preparations, etc.

On the travel scene, I crossed Kentucky and Indiana off the list of unvisited states. Thanks to a NetSAAver fare from American Airlines, I flew into Louisville and then drove to Indianapolis, Indiana and Cave City, Kentucky before returning to Louisville. Lots of nice places to visit around there.

I’ve been able to visit Washington, D.C. a couple of times this year too. These were trips for workshops for the grant that I administer. However, I always get to do some touring while I am there. Pictures are on the Web site, so visit if you can (

While thinking about how to end the letter, I attended a Sunday School party where the story of how the Christmas carol, “Silent Night” was written. I remembered another story I had hear about that carol.

In December 1914 on Christmas Eve in the midst of World War I, peace spontaneously broke out along the battle lines in Europe. There are stories of opposing soldiers exchanging gifts and singing carols together. One of the carols soldiers from both sides knew was Silent Night (English) – Stille Nacht (German). In the evening when the guns were quiet, soldiers on one side heard soldiers on the other singing. They didn’t recognize the words, but the tune was familiar. They began singing Silent Night in their own language and before long the troops crossed lines to meet each other and exchange gifts. The two sides even played a soccer game in the next few days. Christmas has a way of bringing peace in the midst of conflict, doesn’t it? Pray for peace in the world – and in each of our little parts of it.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!