Abba: May 2014

The reason you haven’t been getting my newsletters is that I stopped writing them. You were NOT de-friended as several people thought. (I don’t think I’ve ever de-friended anyone — I just get sufficiently obnoxious that people de-friend me.) I am now writing the newsletters again. I’ve missed you. If you want off this list, just let me know.

"A true friend is one who thinks you are a good egg even if you are half-cracked."~ Author Unknown

The Forgotten Father by Thomas A. Smail was the best book I read in the last few months. While hardcore theology is not for everyone, I found the book readable and full of carefully thought-out points relating to the Fatherhood of God. In our day of knee-jerk gender kicking, it was refreshing to read someone who was thinking deeply, Biblically and logically about God the Father.

My three favorite points were:

1. The difference between the Generic Fatherhood of Creation and the personal, intimate relationship between Jesus and his father — a relationship we are invited into.

2. Both the attributes of authority and submission are divine; Jesus’ submission to his Father is within his divinity — not (as some have previously posited) solely within his humanity.

3. Trusting obedience is a response to grace, not a condition for grace.

Active in the U.K. renewal movement, Smail felt that the focus on Christ and the Holy Sprit within that movement was crowding out the primacy of the Father in Scripture. Perhaps the fact that Smail lost his father at a young age gave him an awareness of the lack of attention on the Father and increased his call to explore this subject. Smail brought into the conversation the cultural view of Fatherhood in Jesus’ time, as well as theories and arguments others have offered on various topics covered.

[obedient action is] “not a limitation on its spontaneity and freedom, but rather the source of it, because it is always a personal response within a relationship, and never external conformity to impersonal rule and regulation.” ~Thomas A. Smail

I also enjoyed Expecting Adam, a memoir by Martha Beck about a success oriented Harvard couple shifting gears when they discover she is pregnant with a Down Syndrome baby. Grinding gears may be a better metaphor. Beck is funny, intelligent, readable, interesting and the spirituality in the book is downright odd. Paranormal. Yet despite the strangeness, I had a sense of the truth fighting his way in. This is not, by any stretch, “a Christian book.” On the other hand, books are not in and of themselves Christian. Only people have that capability.

"If a book be false in its facts, disprove them; if false in its reasoning, refute it. But for God s sake, let us freely hear both sides if we choose." -Thomas Jefferson

The June air calls me to sit in the yard and read novels. I’m currently in the middle of People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks. It’s a novel woven around the journey of the Sarajevo Haggadah, an illuminated Jewish prayer book that was written in Spain in the 1300’s and is currently on display at the National Museum of Bosnia and Herzagovinain Sarajevo. I’d tell you more but I haven’t finished the book yet, AND I’m planning to talk about it at the Literary Party. You can come. The genre/theme for June is Hodge Podge, which means you can bring any old book you want to. You can even bring a new book. Friday, June 18 at 1:15.

"That is a good book which is opened with expectation, and closed with delight and profit." -Amos Bronson Alcott

Alliee +

The First Tuesday Writers
7:15 on the first Tuesday of the month.

Literary Parties
1:15 3rd Fridays
June's genre is
Hodge Podge.

Yes, you too can volunteer at The Word Shop.

Coming Up
Saturday, June 14
Healing Conference
Book Table
10:00 - 2:00
St. Andrew's Episcopal
in Saratoga, California.

Wednesday, June 18
A Trinity of Thought
Aptos Toastmasters

June 27 - 29
Big Sur Camping &
Crawdad Society

July 6-12
Gerard Family Camp