The contents of this blog are my personal views and opinions and are not in any way representative of my employers, publishers, or any associations or organizations with which I’m affiliated.
Although I don’t post here predictably, this blog consists of some of my longer pieces, both new and previously-published, and also pieces that originally at my other, primary blog, Journeys Home. Several posts are Bible reflections and essays concerning spirituality. Some of these overlap with three other WordPress sites of mine: The Love of Bible Study, Psalm 121, and Bible Connections. Posts about social issues have origins in my desire to relate my Christian faith to problems of the world.
At the heart of this blog are reminiscences of beloved hometown locations and childhood experiences. These were written in the hopes of capturing more universal feelings of “place”—and the grace that accompanies one’s feelings of roots. ”The House and the Farm,” “Thinking About History,” and “Local People” were all posted 12/10/2010 and form a little “trilogy”, recalling my grandmother, our genealogy project, family history, and local landscapes. Another set involve various memories of my hometown and its landscapes: “Downtown Vandalia” (8/15/2010), “Supermarket Memories” (5/24/2010), “First Car!” (3/1/2011), “Barefoot Adventures” (5/24/2010), and “We Happy Few” (7/14/2010). The posts entitled ”Lincoln and Vandalia” (1/10/2010) and “Lincoln’s Big Jump” (7/14/2010) are more historical. Still another set involve my childhood residence: “Lawns” (7/15/2010), and “A Very Fine House” (12/24/2009). The post “Mom and I” (12/23/2012) continues the story of “A Very Fine House.” My posts on family genealogical history (6/11/2011, 2/25/2014, 6/5/2014, 8/3/2014, 8/4/2014, 4/19/15, 6/29/15 (two), and 6/30/15) continue the stories of “Thinking about History” and “Local People.”
In fact, my genealogical posts have attracted the most attention during the past couple years. Distant cousins from all over the country have reached out to me in response to those summaries of family history. I’ll continue occasionally to share pieces of local, genealogical interest.
Other posts comprise an oddball assortment of things that interest me. For instance, I’ve posted a transcription of a rare 1820s travel account from New York state to Missouri, a few personal “road trip” essays, and assorted pieces about popular culture, music and art, church leadership, and so on. Several posts have to do with the love of place and the meaning of landscapes. Hopefully you’ll enjoy some of this work that I’m pleased to share.
The title of this blog comes from the poem Jubilate Agno by Christopher Smart, in Benjamin Britten’s adaptation for his cantata Rejoice in the Lamb.
About me: I’m a devoted family guy, a history and religion teacher, loyal church worker, and a freelance writer, primarily of church curriculum. See my website for more information. I’ve written nineteen books and have contributed to ten others. I’ve published articles, essays, reviews, meditations, and poems in periodicals like Springhouse, The Christian Century, The Journal of Religion, Adult Bible Studies, Sophia: A Journal of Philosophy, Illinois Historical Journal, Illinois Magazine, Religion and Public Education, Circuit Rider, Quarterly Review, The Pikeville Review, Tipton Poetry Review, Big Muddy, and others, and also contributions to The Encyclopedia of Louisville, Living by the Word (Chalice Press), and Abingdon Press’ Becoming the People of God series. In 1996-2011, I served on the team of the online curriculum FaithLink, researching or writing over 180 issues concerning Bible and current events. Over the years I’ve served in volunteer capacities in a number of roles and several boards and organizations.
My professional website is paulstroble.com.
My most recent books are Walking with Jesus through the Old Testament: Devotions for Lent (Westminster John Knox Press, 2015), and the poetry chapbook Dreaming at the Electric Hobo (Finishing Line Press, 2015). I’ve another chapbook, Little River, forthcoming in 2017, also from Finishing Line Press.
Although my family and I have lived several places, my hometown, Vandalia, Illinois (and the surrounding Fayette County) is always a personal anchor for me. I try to add at least one personal reminiscence to Vandalia to all my books. The postcard photograph of the downtown was taken by my cousin Don Jones, and the background photo is old US 40 as it heads into town.
All original material copyright 2009-2017 by Paul E. Stroble.
All Bible quotations in this blog are from the New Revised Standard Version unless otherwise indicated. The New Revised Standard Version Bible is copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.