Called Saints: April 2004

A tattered pamphlet on how to convert Anglicans to the Roman church emerges from the heap. Books on Evangelicals going Orthodox perch on the shelves. Others tell about growing up in guilt and ritual and finally discovering Jesus through the Evangelical church, about fleeing worldly denominations that have lost sight of the Lord, or about escaping from social and doctrinal legalism into freedom. ExRomans, exEvangelicals, exFundamentalists, exPentacostalists, exWord/Faith, exAnglicans, exOrthodox... all about it. Priests write exulting in Pastors leaving other denominations to join theirs. Pastors write about those other dead churches. Small splinter groups exalt themselves as a sign to the church... Sometimes I want to burn the whole lot of them.
Meanwhile, the birds around here are also going nuts: They fall in love with a reflection of themselves; dance around rear view mirrors and peck on the bedroom windows. It's all entertaining but not the least fruitful.
Come Holy Spirit.

LOWER ROOM PRAYER: Thursdays from 11:00 to noon. There's just a couple of us (the one true church). Freeform prayer. You can join us as long as you don't freeform for more than a couple of minutes at a time. (I bore easily.) From now til Pentecost at the shop.

...called saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours. 1Corin.1:2

The most stupendous donation this month was a 10 volume set of Spurgeon's Sermons and a 3 volume set of Matthew Henry Commentaries. Both are in pristine condition. Coming up second was five crates of books from a Lutheran Pastor's Library, including lots of church history, classic literature, and theology.

I pulled an old ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI by G.K. Chesterton from one crate. What a wonderful read! It's not so much a biography as treatise on sanctity, the love of God, the church, reforms, history....all delivered with that wonderful British droll humor and spiced with exotic phrases and allusions from classic literature: "the demon king in the goblin kitchen." I don't see how I can charge more than a buck or two for this seriously scrungy paperback. I guess I'll put it on my shelf at home, unless you want to read it.

Bill's been bringing in lots of secular children's books. We now have various series like Goosebumps, Animorphs, Baby-sitters club. I've discovered that children's books make a wonderful evening's read: short enough that I'm not lost to the world for more than an hour or two; exciting, uplifting, and with a good moral tone. I read TREASURES OF THE SNOW by Patricia St. John, which was recommended by our newest staff person, Anne. It's a story of love and forgiveness, jealousy and reconciliation through Jesus. It takes place in the Swiss Alps with grade school protagonists. I see on the back cover that the author has written several others, which I'm going to watch for.
THE WISH GIVER by Bill Brittain is a Newbery Honor Book which follows three children who get exactly what they wish for. Shades of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. A fun way to spend an evening. Most of our used children's paperbacks are $1 or $2.

High moral tone is one of the reasons I like Charlotte Armstrong's mysteries. She writes of the power of good in such a convincing way. Which reminds me of a lovely run of phrases that came from Jeff on Palm Sunday:
"The strength of faith, the power of goodness, the eternity of love."
A trilogy of Armstrong's suspense stories has been on our shelves for 8 years. I can't bring myself to trash it, so I brought it home. Last night I read her DREAM WALKER again. I love the way her characters communicate feelings through the air. Meanwhile Stephen King's DREAM CATCHER sits on top of our Steals, Deals and Heresies shelf. And, a woman across the street is bringing in nearly new paperback mysteries at the rate of about four a week. Our $1 mystery shelf is getting crowded. We need a DREAM READER.

I got in LIFE OF PI, which Shannon recommended. Michael's snatched it up. It has a picture of a guy with a tiger in a lifeboat on the cover. Perhaps Michael can relate? Linda recommends THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES by Sue Monk Kidd, which Sherri also recommends and Carolyn as well. I read about two pages of a copy Pat had when I was waiting for her to cut my hair. I resisted stealing the book. Maybe next month.

DRAWING NEAR: Kathy and I are plotting an ILLUSTRATED JOURNALING 6-week class to start the first Thursday morning in July. A text for the weekly course may be Esther de Waal's LOST IN WONDER; Rediscovering the Spiritual Art of Attentiveness. I haven't read it yet but it looks WONDERfully apropos.

PLANNING AHEAD: Other July events include THE BIG SUR CAMPING AND CRAWDAD SOCIETY the weekend after the 4th, and FAMILY CAMP the week of July 18. Family Camp isn't actually camping; it's hotel style rooms and a dining hall. No cooking/cleaning for a week, Tra La Tra La. Let me know if you're interested...well, in Anything.

We have met the enemy and he is us. -Walt Kelly, cartoonist (1913-1973)

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