2016-04-22 Pine Needles

Rain-Swept Pine Needles

THIS WEEK’S READING:  Reading the Bible Again for the First Time, by Marcus Borg; “Pigeon Feathers,” short story by John Updike; “The Death of a Traveling Salesman,” short story by Eudora Welty.

THIS WEEK’S WRITING:  Short story, “The Sensible Thing”

THIS WEEK’S QUOTE: “Tomorrow is not promised, so I’d better do what I can today.”–Lin-Manuel Miranda (age 38), lyricist, composer, and lead performer of Pulitzer-winning Broadway musical, “Hamilton”

Sunday – First anniversary of Judy’s cancer diagnosis. Randy Spleth’s sermon on Ps. 23 ended with this illustration: A minister taught a dying boy to remember the Psalm’s emphasis on God’s personal love by having him grasp his fourth (ring) finger and repeating, “The Lord is MY…” Randy had us do the same. I’ll never forget it because of the anniversary.

Monday – Our outdoor temperature reached 80 degrees for the first time this year, so I treated GCC friend Shirley Wells and her grandson Michael to ice cream at Good’s Candy Shop. Michael’s an energetic, talkative little boy who loves blue sprinkles because they turn his tongue blue. Fun to see a candy store through the eyes of a 3-year-old!

Tuesday—Heard the farewell chapel sermon of Dr. John H. Aukerman, one of my college roommates who retires from teaching at the AU School of Theology this month. His theme was “Come Before Winter,” based on 2 Tim. 4. Before service / Joe: “This had better be good.” John: “It’ll be good enough for YOU.” And it was–exceptional.

Wednesday—Spent a couple of hours at GCC Mud Creek campus with Myrna Mullins, planning the Bible 101 series we begin co-teaching next Tuesday night. Talked in depth about how our own understandings of Bible myth and history have changed over the years. As usual, Myrna got me pumped for teaching!

Thursday— Started watching Dr. Andrew Newberg’s “Great Courses” lectures on “The Spiritual Brain,” on loan from Myrna. Mid-afternoon coffee at Panera’s with Cal Bloom, Judy’s cousin and my seminary roommate. Discussed life, death, parenting adult offspring, neuro-theology, and “When can we go fishing again?”

Friday—Arrived at 10:30 for a cardiologist’s consult, half an hour late. I’d written the right time in my calendar but misread it, so had to reschedule 2 weeks out. I often pray, “Lord, bless my mistakes today,” so I’ll trust this one turns out well.

Saturday—Heard Willie Nelson’s rendition of, “It’s a Wonderful World.” It reminded me that the natural world, which evokes gratitude in some people and prompts them to speak to God, simply evokes awe in others and prompts them to speak to…themselves! “I see skies of blue and clouds of white/Bright blessed day and dark sacred night/And I think to myself, What a wonderful world!”