Just some real quick bits and pieces before the maelstorm of the weekend! With three morning services to get them in, Sundays are a bit of a marathon -- and that for a man whose spiritual gift is the ability to sit on the couch and not move for long periods of time. Or, as my wife says, I am the only person in the world in imminent danger of being overrun by a glacier. Compared to me, sloths are jittery.
Check out my son-in-law's blog (www.detectivesofthedivine.blogspot.com). Josh Graves is a great fellow and a future star in our tribe.
In the last two weeks three books have absolutely captivated me. Jon Krakauer's "Under the Banner of Heaven" has a great deal to teach all of us who were brought up in authoritarian faiths. Giles Milton is one of the most interesting historians alive today and his "White Gold" is just the latest window on an untold story in our past. This book deals with the enslavement of European and American whites by the Islamic states (principally Morocco) between 1500 and 1790. It reads like a thriller and is one of the best sourced history books I've read in years. The third book is one of the most important books of our time and the odds that it will get wide publicity are nil, for its subject does not strike people as interesting. The book is by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner and is entitled "Freakonomics." Get this book! I will quote from it from time to time. These geniuses ask questions nobody else ever thought of such as "What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common? How is the Ku Klux Klan like a group of real estate agents? Why do drug dealers live with their moms?" And many, many more. And they answer the questions!
I will be interviewing some folk and calling some others as Rochester church continues to search for a youth minister and a worship minister. It is amazing how hard it is to find good people, and then talk them into moving north of Detroit, and then convince them that having me as their pulpit minister will not (probably) scar them for life.
And lastly: my record continues! I have a perfect record in not making great financial choices! Three years ago I bought a Ford Excursion. It is a fantastic vehicle in every way except for the fact that the V-10 gas engine burns a tad of fuel. Like 20% of the output of Venezuela. I recently went online to see what it was worth today and found that it had lost 50% of its value due to the recent surge in gasoline prices. Yes! I would hate to think that I might have made a good buying decision. That would ruin my reputation. For a guy who is often thought to just work one day a week and it still takes ten men to carry his money -- I can't seem to find much of it laying about the place. Good thing, too, or I might start confusing this place with heaven.
Cheers, God bless, and I'll talk to you about something more specific next week!