Monday, July 17, 2006

too dangeous, too small

Preachers are often long-winded and boring, but the best of them can put things into words better than anyone around. Martin Luther King was one; Mahatma Gandhi was another.

Yesterday, one of our ministers quoted a line from the Yale chaplain — and friend of King's — William Sloane Coffin, who died in April: "The world is too dangerous for anything but truth and too small for anything but love."

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

tongues and R

Hannah is not only my niece, but a member of my Sunday school audience of high school students. The other day, she asked if I'd do a lesson on speaking in tongues, a phenomenon that's mentioned here and there in Scripture but not emphasized in Baptist circles.

I've heard it done in ways that are sound and unsound, flaky and perhaps worthy. But it dawned on me recently what I've never ever heard, in any instance of glossolalia: the letter R.

What does that mean? Who knows? But there you have it. The Spirit apparently doesn't use any Rs.

Saturday, July 8, 2006

new old books

We've recently acquired first editions of four of the Horatio Hornblower books. Hardly great literature, but they have all that a kid needs to develop a love for the pleasures of novels. What fun I had reading them as a kid.

These are only the latest in a series of new acquisitions that have a different flavor for me: I realize that I've started book shopping for my children. Actually, the first books I bought for my children were in 1991, when Jeff Walker and I each bought copies of "The Eleventh Hour" and "Animalia," gorgeously drawn and ingeniously crafted books by Graeme Base, with the express purpose of not only enjoying them for ourselves, but, as we said to each other at the time, "so that our children will have a common language."

Thursday, July 6, 2006

tipping point day

A couple of weeks ago, Catherine and I had our Tipping Point Day.

We have now been married longer than we were dating. How strange, that over half of our relationship has been as man and wife. The self-protective casualness is drowned; it has become a naked plunge into vulnerability. That long time of uncertainty that begins at the first date is banished.

When I hear a song like "How Little We Know" now, I remember the ache of dating. If? When? How Do You Know? Fortunately I trusted the people who all along said, Ah, but you'll know.