Our Lobbyist in Heaven?

31 May 2009

(Blogger’s note: Sorry I haven’t posted in a few days, but I’m just getting over a little intestinal blockage.  If you want to hear about that, I’ll fill you in, but otherwise, let’s just move on …)

Sometimes, something will come across my computer screen that makes me wonder if the best thing that could happen to the American church would be a really extensive persecution.  Not because I hate the church, because I don’t – after all, I’m part of the church, and so are the Supermodel and my kids and most of my friends.  Not because I enjoy suffering, either.  It’s because I believe something needs to happen to shake us as a unit out of our current obsessions and get us back to focusing on Father God and Christ and the Holy Spirit.  Too much of our time, as a body, seems to be spent with the focus on the world and the world’s way of doing things, and not on who God is and His ways.  If it takes going back to the arenas to get us to put God first, well, bring on the lions.  Better to be devoured now and live in comfort in eternity than the other way around.

Okay, you may be asking, what prompted THAT?!?  Well, something came across my computer screen …

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When companies disappear

26 May 2009

I got a bit of a shock this morning.

If you read this blog regularly, you know that I’ve written a novel and am looking for a publisher for it.  In fact, my friend and fellow author Geralyn Beauchamp (see link to her blog at right) had been advocating me to her publisher, Cold Tree Press, and had sent along my manuscript with all the required accoutrements to them last month.  So I was hoping to hear back from them soon, telling me if they were interested, or what needed to be changed, or at least giving me a new addition to my small collection of rejection letters.

Well, that was the hope until today, when I called Geri and she informed me that Cold Tree Press wouldn’t be printing my novel … or any other novel, including the one Geri was working on for them.  They went out of business earlier this month.  They did it in the classiest manner possible – they didn’t file for bankruptcy or torture their creditors or employees.  They made every effort to keep going, and when all avenues were exhausted, they paid their bills, released their writers from their contracts and closed the doors.  I’m disappointed, but I give them credit (this means you, Peter, if’n you’re reading) for how they handled it all.

So the recession rolls on, hitting us from a hundred different directions.

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Cleaning out my closet

23 May 2009

Dealing today with a few items that aren’t long enough to rate their own blog entry, but nonetheless deserve mention …

Congregational Journey: The Final Ripoff *

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The next time I fall …

21 May 2009

An hour and a half ago, I thought I knew what I was going to write about.

I was going to deal with a scandal in the American church that I had heard no one publicly address.  I had made a note of it on my list of potential “topics to blog about” yesterday.  Today, it kept coming to mind and it seemed like it was the right time to deal with it.  In my mind, I was marshaling arguments, crafting sentences, getting my dander up to condemn the sin I saw in the church that everyone seemed to be ignoring like the proverbial elephant in the room.  But not anymore — I was going to nail its leathery hide to the wall!

And then, a funny thing happened on the way to the first word.  God, who I suspect had planted in my mind the subject, now planted in front of me … my reflection.

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I may already be a winner!

20 May 2009

No, I didn’t enter one of those spam e-mail contests that make you sign up to get inundated by advertising so that you can get a free iPod.  (Actually, I don’t even own an iPod.  But that’s another story.)  I did enter an online competition, but there were no prizes other than having your wit publicly credited.  And I won!

Last month, I happened upon an interesting little article at OverthinkingIt.com (motto: “Movies, TV, Music, Video, Humor and Pop Culture … taken way too seriously”).  In honor of the upcoming summer blockbuster movie season, and all the hackneyed stories and phrases on display during same, they did a contest called “CLICHEMAGEDDON.”  The premise was simple: they took ten standard action-movie phrases, inserted blanks at key points and invited people to fill in the blanks with the funniest/silliest/wittiest/nerdiest things they could think of and post the results as responses.  Here are the ten offerings:

  1. Read the rest of this entry »

Happiness in a hundred wooden tiles

19 May 2009

I’ve mentioned before how the last few weeks have been busier than usual, what with having temporary work and all.  During that time, of course, I had to cut a lot of lower-priority activities out of my schedule, so for the last several days I’ve been playing catch-up on things like lawn care, house cleaning and … well, and this blog.  Not to mention getting used once again to being at home and taking care of my son through the day.  It’s been a blizzard of activity, but I think I’m finally getting back into the swing of things.

And that means beginning to pick up some of the “fun stuff” once again – things I do just for grins and giggles.  (I can’t just agonize over the state of the American church 24/7, tempting though it may be – I’d exhaust myself in no time.)  I’m doing a lot of reading – currently I’m in the middle of Daniel Levitin’s This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession.  I’m keeping up the maintenance on the Stockton ‘88s, my team in the Legends of Baseball all-time fantasy league – currently they’re 26-16 and in second place in their division, but there are still holes in the lineup and pitching rotation to fix.  And just today, I was able to get back to something that I heartily enjoy but haven’t been able to indulge in for over three weeks due to time constraints.

Said indulgence?  Scrabble.

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Cherry festivals and the church’s focus

18 May 2009

It’s funny, the way God can teach you something through events that would, to worldly eyes, seem totally unrelated to issues of faith.  A chance remark can prompt in your mind a Scripture reference, or an article on your Internet homepage causes you to recall a sermon you once heard.  Even a movie might hold (for those who have ears to hear …) a spiritual lesson that likely never occurred to the film’s director, writer or actors.  That’s the way it often is when you’re a Christian – if you give your life over to Jesus, you have to expect that He’s going to do things like that.  The trick is to be paying attention, so that when He does, you don’t miss it.

I had one of those moments this weekend, thanks to an event that seemingly would have very little to do with the kingdom of God: the Linden Cherry Festival.

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