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About a month ago, my friend Bethany Martin introduced me to the 31 Days challenge. A whole community of people have come together around this challenge to post about a single topic on their blog every day in October.

There’s not much I do 31 days in a row other than eat and sleep. So I hemmed and hawed for three weeks, not sure I was ready to commit to increasing from one or two posts a month to 31 posts.

Then I started writing. I currently have a very rough draft of four posts and ideas for nine more posts. Turns out some people have been preparing for this challenge for months and might even have all 31 posts already written. Yikes! That makes me a little anxious.

I seem to work well under pressure though. In fact, when I don’t have impending deadlines, I don’t often finish what I’ve started. I am an incredibly skilled procrastinator.

In the past two-and-a-half years of being mostly unemployed, I’ve started lots of projects. What I’ve finished is filling two shelves with jam, making two boxes of chocolate truffles, creating a guide to Birmingham on a budget, planting a garden, and refinishing two pieces of furniture.


What’s left of last summer’s jam making extravaganza.


This season has been incredibly fruitful in numerous other ways, they’re just mostly less tangible or not yet completed.

Among the not-yet-finished projects are baskets full of books on topics I’ve wanted to delve into for years. During this long season of unemployment, God has continually been working within and around me to redefine the terms by which I live, largely through conversations and my basketsful of books. I am convinced He has refused me gainful employment for such purposes.


The 31 Days series offers me a daily deadline to finally make something of the myriad thoughts that have been whirling around in my head about one of these topics – justice.

After years of working in international development, I believe the currently popular definition of justice – both within and beyond evangelical circles – is far too narrow. Justice has come to be defined in terms of injustice, which is overwhelming at best. It has also been divorced from a larger moral component that is essential to its nature.

In 31 Days of Redefining Justice, I anticipate reflecting on Scripture to return to a biblical definition of justice. I’ll regularly draw on conversations with friends from around the world, experiences in Asia and Africa, thoughts from great philosophers and theologians, and pop culture. I hope to have a few key thinkers from my Portland circles interacting as well.

So I’m wondering – will you be part of what God’s up to in this heart and mind by joining the conversation throughout October? Your comments will not only make it more difficult for me to wiggle my way out of the commitment – they’ll hopefully spur conversations that can lead all of us closer to the Truth.

I hope to see you here again next Tuesday!