He sat in the chair across from our desk, a grizzled old codger aglow with the Spirit. "I used to be in this little evangelical church," he explained. "It wasn't going anywhere and neither was I. In North Dakota," he added quickly with a wave of his arm as if to ward of the tentacles of gossip: What church? Where? What brand?
"I don't even know why I went, except that's what you did there on Sundays. It was like I got a piece of the puzzle here and another piece over there, but I could never see how they fit together. But when I came here something was happening. The pieces started to come together. I got born again and filled with the Spirit and..."
"You got the top of the box."
He nodded and twinkled. Fire eyes. "Gorgeous," I raved to my husband at dinner that night. "He was Gorgeous."
"Well, my generation, it's end of the depression, World War II up to the Korean war," he continued. "After that the Baby Boomers hit. Pastor retired and this new guy came on and he kept saying there were going to be some changes. And there were changes. The younger ones like this contemporary music. I mean they minister to us seniors as best as they can, but the young ones, they're the future of the church. We're moving on. I figure I don't mind if the wrapping on the box changes as long as what's inside is still the real goods. And it is. So who cares about a little tinsel and glitter. It's just the paper on the box. The inside is what counts...
"They asked me to help make hot dogs for a Baptism at the beach. I said, 'sure.' We baptized 90 people that day. Cooked up 400 hot dogs. We're just having fun," he said, the story clearly coming to an end. "It's just fun!"
HOT READS: (March is E-F authors month. I'm clearly cheating here. Think 'PHonetically.')
WHAT'S SO AMAZING ABOUT GRACE - PHilip Yancey. A really fine book busting up the pharisaical legalism that so easily besets us. I read it last weekend and will sell this VF HB copy for $7. (Assuming I can get it back from whomever I loaned it to last.)
TELLING SECRETS - Fredrick Buechner $12.99 (new). A friend ordered this to stash in her children's stuff for when they grow up. She told me to read it first. A great book showing the dangers of secrets in our families and churches, and pointing out the grace in intimacy (that is unfortunately more often found in the basement with the AA groups then in the sanctuaries on Sunday mornings).
THE LOST ART OF DISCIPLE MAKING - Leroy Eims VG Pb. $2 I found this navigators gem while setting up the 'E' display. It never made the display because I brought it home. Here's a quote: "Every pastor has in his congregation men who today are merely spectators in the kingdom of God, but who would pay any price to be involved with him in the real heart of the ministry." I'm almost done with it, let me know if you want it.
Richard Foster's books make for some of the best group studies I've ever done. CELEBRATION OF DISCIPLINE-$19 looks at inward, outward, and corporate disciplines in Christian life, PRAYER-$18 looks at various aspects of prayer, and DEVOTIONAL CLASSICS-$16 gives short pieces from a wide spectrum of Christians, with biographies, group questions and scripture references. These three are currently only available new, but we do have two used copies of his book on SIMPLICITY.
MISS FANNIE'S HAT by Jan Karon of Mitford fame. (There IS an 'F' in the title.) This is a children's picture book about Miss Fanny who is giving up one of her hats for the church rummage sale. Will she give up her fine Easter hat? Book comes with hat stickers....a perfect Easter present. $16.99 (new).
END NOTE: The Word Shop Events page is now a message board. If you know of some Christian event happening, please post it.