Welcome to our first day in this course.
Firstly as a way of introduction I have included a brief history of my life.
My working life began as an office clerk in a large farm implement manufacturing company in Dalby Qld. After a year I began an apprenticeship as a fitter and turner in the same company and successfully completed my indentures four years later.
Looking for an adventure I then travelled to Israel to work on a Kibbutz. I primarily worked in the farm section of the Kibbutz producing turf for many of the major tourist and residential developments in Israel at that time.
On my return to Australia I began working at the local Dalby Hospital and completed my training as an enrolled nurse. I then worked at Baillie Henderson Hospital in Toowoomba for a year.
I completed several years of Bible College training and worked as a teacher and then Dean of Cornerstone Bible College in Emerald, Qld. After this I moved to Charters Towers in North Queensland to commence employment as a church Pastor with the Churches of Christ and Baptist Churches. During this time I also worked as a Nurse, Newspaper Photographer, Journalist, School Teacher, Chaplain and a variety of other jobs to augment my role in the church.
My interest in education was developed through my studies at the University of Southern Queensland where I completed a Bachelor in Further Education and Training. I moved to the Gold Coast in 2002 and completed a Masters in Education (Online Learning) that year. At this time I began applying some of the ideas formulated during my studies to the development of a Cert IV in Christian Ministry. A number of students were engaged in individually adapted learning that sought to provide learners situated learning within their community of practice (focussed on the church and community).
In 2007 I moved to Toowoomba with the aim to develop an applied spirituality in the workplace. I became a builder’s labourer working on site with the purpose of developing a holistic mentoring model that produced positive learning outcomes for the business.
In 2010 I spent 6 months teaching Business and English in China as part of Global Interaction a Baptist mission. This was an adventure and educational experience for the whole family. We returned in February, 2011.
In 2014 I began a 6 month leadership course with the Centre for Courage and Renewal in Austin, Texas. I completed this in April 2015. One of my recent learning influences has been the work of Parker Palmer who founded the Courage and Renewal Academy and authored the work, The Courage to Teach.
I have most recently pastored a local church in Highfields near Toowoomba in Queensland Australia. My passion for poetry is evident in writing the Psalms in my words over the past couple of years I have rewritten all the psalms twice.
You can read my writings and wanderings by clicking here.
But, for now lets dive in. I thought that instead of just giving a biography that we could start with poetry.
Read the poem below and the I encourage you to make some space to write a poem that introduces how you are going to start living.
I Am Going to Start Living Like a Mystic
Today I am pulling on a green wool sweater
and walking across the park in a dusky snowfall.
The trees stand like twenty-seven prophets in a field,
each a station in a pilgrimage—silent, pondering.
Blue flakes of light falling across their bodies
are the ciphers of a secret, an occultation.
I will examine their leaves as pages in a text
and consider the bookish pigeons, students of winter.
I will kneel on the track of a vanquished squirrel
and stare into a blank pond for the figure of Sophia.
I shall begin scouring the sky for signs
as if my whole future were constellated upon it.
I will walk home alone with the deep alone,
a disciple of shadows, in praise of the mysteries.
—by Edward Hirsch
I invite you to read this poem, imagine and let the images wash over you.
The invitation is to use use the first line as the entryway into your own poem: “I am going to start living like a monk,” “I am going to start living like an artist,” “I am going to start living like a mystic.”
Feel free to post it as a comment or as your own post. I look forward to what we share as a group.