For the past several years I have had an on-again, off-again relationship with coding. It is my disposition to enjoy creation: I love to draw, I love to write, I love to build. My life has centered around these in some way. I have sketchbooks full of drawings, pages of doodles, and a binder of graffiti - and, to be sure, pictures in my mind I hope to draw in the near future; I've always enjoyed researching and writing papers in school, and I've been writing poems for years now, in addition to the occasional short story; and recently I've come to realise the joy of physically building something by working in renovations.
The interest of HTML/CSS coding falls quite nicely in an overlap between these three overarching mediums; that is, I can design something of my own which I can then build, albeit digitally. Throughout high-school I dabbled in HTML coding. I built a website, Crying Kisses to showcase all my poetry, however this site never went on-line. Following this I coded Nobody Asked You, partly as a school project, in which I compiled information about some of my then favourite shows, musicians, and movies. But NAY soon fell to the wayside as my interests changed.
Shortly thereafter, my brother, getting into football, decided his dissatisfaction with the official CFL website was enough to make him want to create his own. So I helped him design and constructed a website to post stats, scores and schedules of the CFL teams. This was and still is my proudest moment. I wrote pages of code on looseleaf - doing so even as I awaited my turn for a piano lesson. I drew the website out onto paper and spent hours creating images and writing lines of code so the site would come out exactly as I had pictured it. And it did. Illumine Syndicate: An Unofficial CFL Page was a masterpiece in many respects, and I still have it somewhere, saved onto three diskettes. But our football website never left that stage of the process, as TSN updated their website, appeasing the frustration my brother had.
During the process of creating IS: CFL an idea was born. I had spent a long time coming up with the name, developing concepts, and in some ways I'm glad the CFL site never made it to lift-off - or at the least if it had, the name would had to have been changed.
Illumine Syndicate was an idea I held to create a website centered around my faith. It was originally built in 2007 to hold my written works, and while I poured much of my time into creating this site, it was only on-line for about four months - and nobody knew about it. I had uploaded all my high-schools papers, a select number of poems, and some short stories. But when the website offering free web hosting went off-line, I never got around to finding a new home - though I constantly played around with the pages I had coded.
Grad and Beyond
In April 2011 I graduated with my B.A., majoring in Biblical and Theological Studies. I had spent the preceding seven long, though extremely enjoyable years going to university part-time, and then all that ended in a ceremony. And I was suddenly plunged into a new world of certain freedom.
But I had a passion. And that passion was - and still is - theology. It is one of my dreams to teach theology, something I have done at the lower, but no less imporant level, of senior youth. From this experience, and through the opportunity of my practicum, I wrote a catechism which my church has been using as baptismal preparation class - and which is being reviewed by the EMC missions and education committee, whom in turn has circulated it to all the EMC churches. It has been my dream to make people think and re-think their theological paradigms, returning to a biblical based Christianity which is more than merely assent to doctrine, but is in fact intelligent, informed, experienced and actual faith lived out pragmatically, personally, physicaly and spiritually.
It is my dream and passion to have Christians come to a fuller understanding of theology through biblical literacy so that their faith becomes more genuine, flowing out of a greater knowledge of Adonai and His will - which comes not only through a personal relationship with Him, but also through intellectual familiarity of doctrine and a realised biblical praxis. I wish to see Christians seriously follow Jesus and His actual teachings, instead of simply being a people who concede to Adonai's existence and who submit to the way 'the church' does things. It is my dream and passion to see Christians enabled, through theological illumination, to live richly, authentically and accurately in the will of God as revealed through Scriptures and history.
And it is my dream to constantly learn theology. From this comes a love of writing (and whether I'm actually any good at it is another story). Often I have written for my own pleasure, when not for school - simply to learn a topic and write on it. And from this a new idea was birthed: I decided to rejuvinate and re-code the old Illumine Syndicate website, reviving it as a sort of information hub. It is my intent to return to the academic world to complete a Masters degree in Theological studies, and to perhaps one day complete a doctorate. But in the mean time, I have many books I wish to read on a variety of focused topics. And because of my joy of writing, I will inevitably want to write - in fact, I already have ideas of papers and articles I hope to research and compose, as well as short stories, and perhaps even one or two ideas for books (though these will likely in the end never come to fruition, as I do love my pipe-dreams).
And so, Illumine Syndicate, version 2 which you are visiting now, has come nearer to its original intent. Illumine is a word which originates from the Middle Ages, and means 'to illuminate,' 'to enlighten,' and 'to supply or brighten with light.' It is my intent to do so on various theological topics and present them to you for reading and ruminating.
But what's more is that this site will serve as a network to all the goings on of mine during my academic hiatus. Because I continue to write not only papers and articles, but also poetry and the occasional sermon, I will be posting these here in their respective pages. Furthermore, I will occasional write blog posts as thoughts are given to me (to me it makes more sense to keep this with my other writings, so it will be hear as opposed to on an 'official' blogging site). This website will in this way keep friends and family updated in regards to my projects over the next two to three years as I find my place in the world outside of academia, giving access to what I've written and allowing for theological discussion, enlightenment and challenging.
While a syndication implies a group of individuals - and the unspoken dream had initially been to have more than one 'author' exhibiting theological ideas, challenges and written works - this website for the time being shall consist of only one syndic.
It is my hope that it doesn't bore too many of you. If even one of you reading this finds something on this website to think about, something to learn, I've done enough. And if nobody cares, I've at least created something where I can do what I love.