Be Mine: February 2002

The Word Shop is a gift from the Lord to his people, through his people. All the books, time, displays, plants, pictures, tapes, chairs, shelves, desks, lamps, coffee, are gifts; gifts to, gifts through. A living Valentine card, everyday. It gets quite muddled, between the recipients and the givers. People who buy the books are great givers into the store's life. Does the heart push oxygen to the lungs, or do the lungs bring it to the heart? Body Life; for love's sake.

Lent is upon us already. Is it an early year or did I just blink and miss a month of two? Last year a number of folk enjoyed using Henri Nouwen's SHOW ME THE WAY as a companion in the 40 day Lenten wilderness. What looks interesting now is FAITH ODYSSEY, a journey through lent by Richard Burridge, $15. This combines Lenten scriptures with comparative plots of science fiction stories, like Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, 2001, Matrix...what next?

A TALE OF THREE TREES makes a great Lenten/Easter presentation. I'm doing a five minute dramatic telling of this Russian folk tale about what three trees want to be when they grow up. The first wants to be a treasure chest, the second a grand sailing vessel and the third the tallest tree in the world--a signpost to God. When the first is made into a feeding trough, the second a fishing boat and the third is cast on the scrap heap, it looks as if all their hopes are lost. Then Jesus enters the scene...
Let me know if you can use this presentation; have mouth, will travel.

Looking ahead, THE STATIONS OF THE RESURRECTION is a beautiful Hardback book with classic art, scriptures and quotes by Andrew Walker $21.95; a stunning Easter gift for someone special. MISS FANNIE'S HAT, by Jan Karon is also a great Easter present for the little girl on your list. I still haven't read JEREMY BUNNY, also by this popular author of the Mitford series. Fans might want to know that her newest book, IN THIS MOUNTAIN is due out in May.

If you're spending more time in the car than in your reading chair, consider getting audio tapes. Some wonderful books are available in audio: Nouwen's RETURN OF THE PRODIGAL SON read by the author, Lewis's FOUR LOVES, Yancy's SOUL SURVIVOR and my most often given away book, Lamot's TRAVELING MERCIES. I'm contemplating starting a rental library of audio books, since they usually cost around $25 a piece. If that sounds interesting to you, let me know. Meanwhile we also have a used NIV, a KJV and a Living version of the Bible available on tape.

Funny how the same books stay on the Christian Retailing bestseller list month after month. By now we're getting some used Left Behind Series, and a used copy of Joshua Harris's I KISSED DATING GOOD-BY is on our valentine display. (!) Occasionally we can beat out Costco's bestseller prices.

Speaking of LEFT BEHIND, we have an old copy of IN THE TWINKLING OF AN EYE, by Sydney Watson a 1933 story of the rapture and tribulation. I've priced it at $30, as it is a hardback, still in great condition. Sydney Watson also wrote THE MARK OF THE BEAST, another revelation tale. Nothing new under the sun.

There was a lot of spurious interest in the Wicked Wednesday Wenches, but only the First Tuesday Writers and the Final Friday Folk showed up last month. Commenting on the Final Friday journaling group, Rita wrote: "I have another great book on journaling for you. Nicole Johnson's book, FRESH BREWED LIFE. It is a great book to make you look at things in your life and view them as they are. Lots of thought provoking questions." This book by Nicole Johnson costs $12.99 and there is a "participants guide" for $8.99 that can be used for small groups as well.

A GOOD MONTH for the First Tuesday Writers group: my column "In the Spirit" premiered in the Sentinel, Anne had an article in the Mercury and Phyllis Moore's book, HE GATHERS YOUR TEARS, was released. This book of devotions for a widow's heart makes a great gift for someone recently widowed, $11.99. Phyllis also writes a monthly newsletters for widows. The Writers group meets at 7:15 on the First Tuesday of the month.

Lynn suggest three books which have been helpful to her since the death of her two teenage girls: A GRACE DISGUISED by Gerald Sittser is a story of a man who lost his wife, mother and child in an auto accident. RETURN FROM TOMORROW by George Ritchie is a vision of heaven. 5 CRIES OF GRIEF by Merton and A. Irene Stormmen is special because they quote lots of different folk and also show some of the differences between the way men and women grieve.

TIME TO BE IN ERNEST, P.D. James's diary/memoir is an engaging mix of present day author tours and nearly 80 years of life in the Church of England. Funny how some coinsider a historic, hundred year old church building old and outdated here, while churches centuries old are national treasures in England.

We have a couple of places in the Word shop where books are organized not by author but by book of the Bible. One is the exegeses shelf, where you can pick up a handful of books on say Matthew or Genesis for only a couple of bucks each. The book of Psalms is the one we have the tallest stack on, with John coming in second. The other place is hiding behind a chair, but if you're willing to get down on your knees you can find a shelf of group study pamphlets, organized by book of the Bible and by topics. They are a dollar a piece. Cruising through a handful would bring new light to any part of the bible you are currently reading.

The staff told me I should raise the price on our steals, deals & heresies from 50 cents for paperbacks to a dollar. Hardbacks are going up to $2 each. Get in quick before I change the sign.

PLOTTING "A Literary Event" for April. Christian literary luminaries past, present and future presented in unpretentious piety by a bunch of sinners. Tickets $5--at least--since this is supposed to help balance our books. Time and place to be announced. Stay tuned.

Every society honors its live conformists and its dead troublemakers.
-Mignon McLaughlin, author

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