I wanted to start the year off right by doing a “person dump,” my way of letting you know who I am—and that I don’t truly bite despite what some may say. 😉
Some things here might puzzle people, so I also want to eventually weave into that story line the reason that Cerulean Sanctum exists. I get letters from people telling me how blessed they are to stumble across this blog and that means something as the blogosphere expands and there are more and more voices to heed. That anyone comes here at all is a blessing in itself, when I consider it.
Dan Edelen is a tall, linebacker-sized guy who inhabits thirteen acres of real farmland outside Cincinnati, Ohio. I’ve lived in Ohio for most of my life and it has always felt like home despite the longings I have to see the world. Call it a base of operations then, if you will.
I’m married to the lovely Danei and have a precocious son named Ethan. We’re trying to revert our once-farmland back into farmland, but it’s been slow going and we’ve had many diversions over the last few years. We hope to get our orchard up this spring and wine grapes in maybe next year. I like to tell people that being a farmer is always a little bit of “We’ll see….” Right now I work from home as a freelance writer, tend to my son’s education, and try to finagle this farm-living thing about as well as Eddie Albert did in Green Acres.
I grew up in a Lutheran home. At one point, in my twenties, I was a part of the Assemblies of God and someone told me I had the worst testimony they’d ever heard: I was a good kid who always did what his parents told him to, got straight A’s in school, never got in trouble, and mostly kept my room clean—and then I found Jesus. Actually, Jesus found me at age fourteen on a catechism retreat at Lutheran Memorial Camp in Fulton, OH. The most amazing man I have ever met, Fred Gliem (a bona fide charismatic Lutheran, of all things), talked about Jesus that night and it all finally made sense not only in my head, but in my heart, too. I gave my life to Christ outside on that cold January night in 1977, underneath the stars, a huge wooden cross before me in the semi-darkness of a snow-covered outdoor chapel. I’d wandered outside into the chill night air to consider Fred’s message and found the Lord of the Universe waiting for me.
From early on I knew my call: I was to be a Barnabas. That man of God stood by the young Paul and ushered him along, all the while knowing the once-persecutor of the Lord would eclipse him one day—and it was God’s will for that to happen, too. I am a discipler. That is why I am here.
I worked with young people for many years, discipling any who were interested. During that time, I wound up at Carnegie-Mellon University studying Artificial Intelligence & Robotics. Initially, CMU was a dark time with few Christians for companions my freshman year. It was the first time I encountered people who were openly hostile to Jesus, too, and it shocked this Midwest boy. While that first year was one of searching for Christian companionship, the second year landed me in InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. IV changed my life even further, opening me up to world missions, and best of all, inquisitive, earnest, growing Christians my age. I was quickly leading a men’s Bible study on campus and everything was suddenly a dream come true.
Except it really wasn’t. It was clear to me in the final days of my second year that AI was not where I needed to be. God had put a calling on my life and I had to pursue it. That summer I decided to work as a counselor at the camp where I’d first encountered Jesus. After the summer, it was clear: Christian Camping was the way for me. (Having an angelic encounter that confirmed this, only made it more clear. But I’ll have to tell that story later.)
In fact, I’ll have to tell the main part of this story later. It’s almost 2 AM here.
Thanks for stopping by and for enduring a little self-revelation. If nothing else, some of you regular readers of Cerulean Sanctum just might understand this blog a little better.
Blessings till the next installment!