A Week in the Life of Gary Shogren!
Come away with me on an adventure! This is not an exact 7-day period, but a composite of the things I do in any given week.
I Pray. 7pm is my time for prayer, and different days of the week have different themes. Thursday, it’s “Thanksgiving Thursday.” Tuesdays and Wednesdays, close Bible reading and prayer, right now through Ephesians. Along with this: since last year I have a monthly meeting with, not a counselor, but my “spiritual director”. This is an ancient discipline that evangelicals have recently rediscovered.
I Read. Quite a lot, actually! I normally read 4-6 books at a time, about half of which are theology books and the other half novels, culture, history.
The Tree of Knowledge sculpture
Among the books I have read, here are my favorites from 2022. My mp3 player reads to me at Planet Fitness. I also run an annual reading club in ancient languages. 2023 it’s (some of the) “Hebrew Poets and Prophets”. We have finished Jeremiah, now we’re in Ezekiel.
I Blog. I have two theology blogs, Openeyeourslord.com and Razondelaesperanza.com (“The reason for our hope”). Mondays I open messages and feedback and spend a few hours with them. Questions are almost always in Spanish. They range from, “can you explain the Greek participles in Hebrews 6” (hard one!) to “What do you think of this course about Christian chakras supposedly found in Bible?” (easy to answer!)
I Am in Touch with Spain about my New Book! In September, my publisher will come out with a collection of my essays: El Don del Espíritu y su Poder en la Iglesia (The Gift of the Holy Spirit and his Power in the Church). These days I have to answer a few questions from its editor, plus invite a friend to write the Preface. I am also writing the 1 Corinthians section for a new work Spanish, the Culture Study Bible, which will be full of notes on the ancient world. Example: what was the “meat sacrificed to idols”?
I Speak at a Conference. It’s 7pm their time, 8pm in Pennsylvania. Leaders of the Bible Society of Argentina had seen a blog post of mine, about the importance of Bible reading in our church meetings. My presentation lasted about an hour. I was pleased that over 300 listened in and we got a good response. I haven’t received the link to that video yet, but here is another, where I speak about 1 Corinthians – start watching at 4:00 minutes.
I Assure People I am not Retired. This week I turned 65! And no, we have no plans for retirement. However, one of the reasons we relocated to the US (not retired!): Medicare doesn’t work in Costa Rica but it does work in Pennsylvania.
I Teach at ESEPA. This after all is my regular job, my primary “hat”. We just finished off Greek 3 on Wednesday nights. Right now, I’m in my second week of teaching “Exegesis of 1-2 Thessalonians”, in which the students translate both books, analyze their teaching on the End Times, writing a major paper on 3-4 verses of the Greek. This term I am not teaching through Zoom. This not only helps me, but also my students: one is a missionary in West Africa, and our Greek class used to run from midnight to 3am his time.
I translate articles written by Cuban dissidents against the Marxist regime. My main political activism these days is translating articles to English, then uploading them for all the world to read on translatingcuba.com. Here is an older example that I did during the height of COVID. I work under a pseudonym, but I trust you readers not to reveal my secret identity! 🙂
Sundays! Half our Sundays we go to our local church; the other Sundays we visit our supporting churches to update them on our work and preach God’s Word. We just saw our old friends at Redeemer Bible Fellowship, north of Philly. When on the road, we listen to a book: right now, it’s Subversive: Christ, Culture, and the Shocking Dorothy L. Sayers by Crystal Downing.
Dinner for our anniversary! We just celebrated 43 years. If you can remember when Mount St. Helen’s erupted, that was the weekend we got married.
Editing a Bible translation. This is my second major “hat”. You can read here about the SUN version for deaf non-readers. [SUN New Testament will allow millions worldwide to read the Bible – Metro Voice News] I was asked to do the final edit of the entire Old Testament – all 925 chapters – before it is published; working part-time, it took me about two years. I just finished Job. When I finish 2 Chronicles and the OT will be finished! As I work today, Yo-Yo Ma is playing a cello adaptation of Bach’s Goldberg Variations.