Saturday, July 30, 2005


I saw March of the Penguins this week. It is absolutely gorgeous thanks to National Geographic and its freezing crew. I don't know when I have seen such a straight testimony to the creative abilities of God: These beautiful creatures who know at just the right time when to go to the mating grounds after swimming all over the ocean for three months. And when they get there, they meet thousands of others who have also had the call. These birds who swim have bodies created ideally for sheltering their young in that frigid atmosphere. These emperor penguins who swap out family duties so the other parent can go eat. And when the full parent returns, he/she knows where her mate and child are by voice in a din of thousands of other voices.

Thank you God for your creation and the creatures you put in it. Question? Where was Antartica when Adam and Eve were in the Garden?

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Men of God

I had the opportunity to hear Don Finto last night for the first time in a while. As always, he was interesting and challenging. Mike is celebrating Glen Owen on his blog today, and I have to stop and think how much these two men were alike. Both (are, were--Glen is dead) way ahead of their peers in grace and world missions. Both feared nothing. Both were sometimes denigrated by their brethern as radicals and "too passionate." Both knew the Bible like no one I ever heard. Both brought light where ever they were and a whole lot of questions too!

Finto spoke last night about world revival--it seems to me that as American Christians, we don't get enough news about what is being done all over the world by God. We hear about what is not being done here and how quickly the church is declining. In fact, we don't even know much about the spread of Christianity outside our four walls. I know Christianity Today has a regular feature on world Christianity. Are there others?

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Bugs Bunny

Sheryl and I were talking about Bugs Bunny at lunch today and how much cartoons have changed in the last few years. Turns out today is the day Bugs debuted in 194l. He was patterned after Groucho Marx with a carrot instead of a cigar. And of course, he always won his battles with Elmer Fudd with cleverness and ingenuity instead of violence.

Just comparing that with the Simpsons and what I see fleetingly on the cartoon channel makes me sick. And I might add that I am having trouble enjoying or even looking through graphic novels. I had my young adult classes read Maus! for my course, but there is no comparing today's graphic novels with the beautiful writing of Richard Peck and other young adult authors.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Breaking bread

I ate at the new Panera Bread today. As I sat and watched the people, I thought that this company and others had hit upon a centuries old truth. Breaking bread together is sacred and healing. We have several such companies in town: Bread and Company, The Atlanta Bread Company and now Panera. Panera says in their menu that they believe the universal spirit of bread is sharing. Cash donations given in their bakeries are doubled and given to local hunger relief and other charitable organizations. Any unsold bread is donated at day's end to local hunger relief agencies.

I think even Starbucks is contributing to this bread-breaking culture. A nice thought for today.

Monday, July 25, 2005


I love Mondays--I get more done on Monday than any other day of the week. I feel more energized, more organized, more rested. Could it have anything to do with celebrating Sabbath on Sunday? Maybe God had something there.


Into the West which ended this weekend broke my heart. I think it did show a new generation the sins of their fathers. One of my all-time favorite books about that time is Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. I wonder where the pictures taken by the Wheeler woman landed? Are they in archives somewhere like Matthew Brady's pictures of the Civil War? It is easy to see how lack of communication (telephones,translators, etc.) barred understandings and incited more violence. Are we not continuing our sins with the Native Americans by giving them back their lands so they can build casinos? I wonder if Spielberg and company will publish teacher's guides and a list of their sources later with the DVD? I would like to learn more about the Ghost Dance. Sounded to me like a missionary gone wrong.


Father, in our arrogance we have raped your land and its native peoples. We have used the name of religion to further our sins. We stand before you not meriting grace, but desiring it.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

"Do not be afraid."

In the small town where I grew up, there was not much crime, no violence, and there was seldom anyone but a drunk in the jail. Therefore, people did not lock their doors. I remember the progression at my house: At first, we did not lock any door. Then, we locked the screen door (with a spindly little crook that anyone could break). After buying a new door for the front of the house, we began locking it too. Finally, my dad installed a porch light near the door.

Today, we may be in the most fearful era in history. We fear terrorism, violence, crimes, old age, the big diseases, losing our jobs and pensions, global warming, the loss of social security. We are in deep pessimism about curing our cultural illnesses, our problems in government, in our schools and in our churches. All of this despite our "belief in God." Somehow our religion just doesn't seem to be able to handle the fears.

I read somewhere that the most oft repeated command of Jesus was "Do not be afraid." I did not check on that, but it is the last thing he said as he left this earth.
In John 14:27 he says," peace I give you....Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not be afraid." In Matthew 10:330-31, "Even the hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." In Mark 5:36, he tells Jairus, "Don't be afraid, just believe."

Dear Lord, help us to see the big picture and to believe that you have us in the palm of your hand.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Ice Cream

The ice cream cone was invented on this day in 1904. New ways of serving ice cream are coming out and new outrageous flavors.

I am waiting for some one in Nashville to give a Blue Bell tasting party where everyone brings a different flavor to taste.Yummmm....I want to taste Wedding Cake, but I don't want to buy a whole half gallon. Right now I am stuck on cherry vanilla.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Intercessory Prayer

Someone has defined intercessory prayer as "love on its knees in prayer for others."
In thinking more about our practice of this Christian act, I think perhaps we need to be more disciplined in our intercessory prayers and not make them what Tony Campolo has called "laundry lists." I think we need to be more thoughtful about what is included on our lists, and to be more intentional about praying for these things more than once. I appreciate the "refrigerator list" in the Otter church bulletin which I can cut out and post on my frig so that when I open the door, I see the names of these special people.

As Peter Marshall once prayed: "O, God, forgive the poverty and pettiness of our prayers. Listen not to our words, but to the yearnings of our hearts. Hear beneath our petitions the crying of our need."

Thursday, July 21, 2005


Maddie, Ella and Baby Sam came to visit today--it was lovely! The prayers of children intrigue me--so forthright, so down to earth (kind of like the Lord's Prayer) and often so funny. At the table at lunch, Ella blessed everything and everybody she could think of and then thanked God for catsup. The girls would never be without the red stuff; I never bought catsup before they came along.

I have been thinking about intersessory (sp?)prayer since I attended a class last night in another church in which 30 minutes of the hour class time were taken up with a "laundry list". Is there an example of this type prayer in the Bible? Some of you scholars out there tell me the background of this type of prayer. I do not wish in any way to denigrate our prayers for each other--so don't go off on that please. I have been prayed for many times in time of trouble and appreciate all the benefits of those prayers. I wonder, do we dodge praise prayers or deeper prayers in which we actually talk to God as our father in favor of these long lists?

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


I have heard several writers say that they got names for their characters from the obituary columns in newspapers.

Here are several just from the Abilene Reporter News this week: Uradean, Dovie, Jerry Jon, Lura, Ola Belle, Bethel. I guess these names were most chosen over 80 years ago, since the deceased folks were quite elderly. These are better than the odd names being given to children today like Apple and Motor.

Bible names are still among the most popular ones chosen for new borns, but I don't think I would want to be stuck with Hezekiah at any age. Samuel is a good one.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Home to Harmony

I just finished reading a good book Home to Harmony by Phillip Gulley. It is a collection of vignettes set down by a Quaker pastor who has come home to preach. Similar to Karon's books with less plot. Some of the vignettes would be fun to read aloud to a group. I loved the one about what we all learn in first grade. The one called Roger and Tiffany is about the pastor, Sam,and his parents visiting Roger, his brother and his vegan girl-friend for thanksgiving dinner. The pastor's mother thought vegan was a cult. The food for the dinner was marcaroni without cheese,small, wormy pesticide free apples, lettuce, a pitcher of herbal tea and a bowl of kiwi fruit. The parents immediately left for the grocery store coming back with a turkey breast, potatoes, cranberries and a two-liter bottle of RC Cola. Tiffany protests, "I can't eat this. I'm a vegan." Roger's mother whips out her Bible, turns to the 10th chapter of Acts and reads about Peter being told to rise, kill and eat. And so they ate.

It seems Roger was not a total vegan. He had been eating with Tiffany and then stopping at Burger King for a Whopper on the way home.

Pastor Sam's conclusion of the matter was that it is so hard, in this world, to be who we are.

I am ordering the other Harmony books soon.

Monday, July 18, 2005

A Little Culture Goes a Long Way

I have been in two groups recently in which parents expressed fear of our culture and its effect on their children. Books, movies, television, etc.

I wonder if those who "do" Sunday School Curriculum have devised a study to help them and their children out? Rather than teaching David and Goliath for the 1,000th time, could we not address some of the influences of the world in student life in classes at church? Waiting until high school is probably too late. There very well may be excellent stuff out there I do not know about. However, I have never seen, in the adult curriculum, classes to help parents in these situations:

Parents said they would like to have an avenue to handle the hassels of dress codes when "all other" girls in the group were wearing halter tops and short jeans. They would like to have help dealing with R rated movies being shown at some else's home
to a group which included their child. They would like to have help in dealing with cliques which shut out any child who is different. Today's "music" is generally beyond the parents.

How would a joint class with parents and children work? How would we approach it without seeming like dinosaurs who know nothing about what is going on?

I don't know the answer--just posing questions.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Wedded bliss

Jason and Alisha's wedding yesterday was lovely and full of emotion. The Zoe Group sang the prelude, Sheryl sang So Are You to Me as the bride and groom took communion and Brian Randolph sang A Prayer for Home. Beautiful music. Brandon did an excellent job as the minister setting just the right tone of lightness and solemnity.

One of the highlights of the reception was Jason's cake--hundreds of various kinds of Krispy Kreme doughnuts stacked in the shape of a cake. Children of all ages loved it.

Blessings to the newly weds and to the moms and dads who are all glad this glorious weekend is over.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Full of family

We had a feast last night at the rehearsal dinner of Jason McArthur and Alisha Swindle.

The food was excellent. The new Provident building provided a magic atmosphere with all the million dollar records hanging on the walls, a giant photo of Michael W. Smith greeting us, and the grand piano in the entrance (beautifully played by J. V.) to the banquet room.

As with most dinners of that sort, the fun came in the open-mike sessions when friends and family revealed all sides of the honorees. Jason Douglas McArthur was into music from the very beginning of his life and obviously his voice is still entertaining thousands of Zoe fans. Alisha was quite the prankster growing up, and her beautiful green eyes still flash with fun. The night was full of family and grace.

May their union be blessed by God and enjoyed by their family and friends.

Friday, July 15, 2005

This strange thing we call English

In some of the days I spent at ACU, I taught English in Academic Advance. AA is a program set up to help those students who did not do well on entrance tests. Many of the students I had were foreign students. Although they spoke English very well, they did not "get" idioms and other fine points of the language. For example, the verb "to be" just didn't make sense to them. They wrote in very long sentences linked with many "ands". Paragraphs were unheard of in their essays.

My Bas Blue catalog advertises a book called Here Speeching American: A Very Strange Guide to English as it Garbled around the World. Examples from actual signs, menus, advertisements and brochures are used. Some from the review:

Keep all fours in the bus--eyes only out window. (Mexican bus)

Compulsory Buffet Breakfast (Melia Hanoi Hotel, Vietnam)

Foot wearing prohibited (Buddhist temple, Burma)

Go Away (Barcelona travel agency window)

Swimming is forbidden in the absence of the savior. (Hotel swimming pool, France)

I wish I had this book for my class. It would have been fun to have my students decipher the mistakes. I must add too that I would be woefully inadequate if I had to speak any other language but English.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

More kitchen items

As you can already tell, I am not a minimalist decorator. Add to the things that have memories yesterday:

Cups hang on a cup holder made by a woodworker friend Bill Temple. Bill also taught for Sam. The holder is made of wood from the old Stamford Hospital where one of my brothers was born.

I have a gorgeous pitcher on my stove done by potter Janelle McGuire, the twin sister of one of my best friends, Jeannean Nichols. The pitcher is cream and has the Chinese character for forgiveness on it. She copied the character from Ed Young's book Voices of the Heart.

My kitchen madonna sits in the corner of the cabinet. It is a painted wooden figure with hands folded in prayer. Painted in gold paint, it is flecked with blue crosses.

A ceramic cross with a heart in the center was given me on my birthday by the Zoe group. It has all their autographs on the back and hangs on the cabinet blacksplash.

The 50's.Com bible class gave me a cross emphasizing faith also hangs there, with a stained glass cross given me by Brandon.

Memories tell us something about who we are. I think I am very blessed.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Memories in the kitchen

Thanks to all who responded to yesterday's titles. Tony's Miss Bindergarten goes to Rehab made me laugh! I can tell he has been reading Miss Bindergarten to his daughter. And Phil's Mr. Match meets Mr. Dryer Lint was good as well as Debi's Tickle Me Where?

In her new summer magazine, Mary Englebreit writes, "Decorating with objects that evoke meaningful feelings and memories is one of the surest ways to stamp a room with your own indelible style." I began looking around my kitchen and saw at the top of the cabinet:

The clear Depression glass "Iris" pitcher from my paternal grandmother, Grannie Dobbins.
The bluebonnet serving bowl Sam bought me on our trip to Salado.
Two crocks owned by Sam's grandmother. I use the bowl (largest in my house) to make dressing for Thanksgiving.
The handpainted pitcher created by my dear friend Pat Phillips.
The antique hand churn used by Sam's grandmother to churn many a lump of butter.
The chocolate pitcher done by my friend Carolyn Hughes, now gone home.
Two apple pitchers bought for me by Brandon.
The dark brown pitcher we early-marrieds bought at Safeway in our first year of marriage. It is now a collectable.

I guess you can see I collect pitchers and memories.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

time to laugh

I feel the need of a good laugh. Found this in my file last night. If I have shared it before, forgive.

Rejected Titles for Children's Books

1. You are Different, and That's Bad
2. Dad's New Wife Greg
3. Fun Four Letter Words to Know and Share
4. Curious George and the High Voltage Fence
5. Strangers Have the Best Candy
6. You Were an Accident
7. Pop! Goes the Hamster and Other Microwave Games
8. Why Can't Mr. Fork and Mrs. Electrical Outlet Be Friends?
9. Daddy Drinks because You Cry
l0. If It Feels Good, Touch It
11. Mommy's Got a New Baby to Love
12 The Pop-Up Book of Human Anatomy

Anybody want to try and add to the list?

Monday, July 11, 2005

John 8

Tim is preaching from John this semester. His sermons in John 7 and 8 have been gems.

Yesterday he focused on 8:27 "When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am the one I claim to be and that I do nothing on my own, but speak just what the Father has taught me." Earlier Jesus says in v. 24 "...if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins."

These are very bold and convicting statements, and I have to ask myself what would I have done if I had stood there....Would I have picked up stones, laughed, thought him crazy, or would I have just shaken my head and walked away? Probably the last is what I would have done--I don't like violence, laughter is disrespectful, some of his statements made sense so he couldn't be crazy, so I would have probably have shrugged him off.

I shrug off this passionate man every day when I fail to give credence to his teachings, when I forget forgiveness, skip by grace, shortchange prayer. Lord, help me to take what Jesus says to heart, to mind, and to action.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Sam A. Thomas again

Here's another Samuel Alexander Thomas story I don't want to get lost or forgotten.
Seems in the early 20's, the Thomases lived in an old two-story house. Although it had electricity, the wiring was rudimentary. Old Sam shaved in the combination kitchen, dining room with the single light bulb for the room (it dangled with a long cord from the ceiling) clipped over the sink so he could see in his mirror propped up in the kitchen window. It was Thanksgiving and Ollie his wife and other relatives had been cooking all week long for the traditional huge family dinner.

Ollie had the table set, with all the food loaded on the huge table. She called everyone to dinner. Sam was finishing shaving and somehow knocked the light bulb free. It swung over the table, hit the cake stand and broke into a thousand pieces all over the Thanksgiving food. Nobody got to eat that day. Sam was so disgusted, he went out the barn and didn't come back until nightfall. He could be heard saying one of his favorite expressions "I played thunder" and several other strong words as he stomped to the barn.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

A Little Family History

I put a picture of the original Samuel Alexander Thomas on the dresser in my entrance today. The dresser belonged to him and was the only furniture saved when his house burned down in 1944. The dresser was saved because it was in his bedroom at his son's house where he and his wife were staying because of illness. I think that might indicate that the couple loved the dresser and wanted it with them wherever they were. I am so pleased to have it now.

Samuel Alexander Thomas (after whom my husband was named) came from a long line of preachers, politicians, doctors, drunks and scalawags. His grandfather, Garland, fought in the Civil War and was captured at Shiloh. "Gar" also fought the Indians with Davy Crockett (as the family story goes). "Uncle Sam" (so called by most of the people in the small town north of Waco where he lived) was a farmer, singer, orator, and politician. He was the County Clerk of Limestone County and served in the Texas Legislature as a Representative in the 1921 session. Sam's brother Ralph served as County Commissioner of Limestone County for several terms and enjoyed writing letters to the newspaper when he left office telling the local government how things should be run.

My husband Sam worshipped his grandfather Sam A. whom he called "Back". The grandparents took Sam and his siblings in when family life got rough. Back advised Sam as he grew up and enjoyed tormenting him with tricks and surprises. I am sorry I never got to meet the old man, but I believe my Sam was very much like him. "Uncle Sam" was highly esteemed in Groesbeck, and he loved going to town every morning to brag about his prize chickens who by reputation "out laid" all other chickens in town. Samuel Alexander Thomas was also a master storyteller and embellisher.

As I look at his picture (a publicity picture for his re-election as County Clerk), I can see him standing before the dresser brushing his thick, auburn curly hair, putting in his collar pins and cuff links, getting ready to go out and campaign. A natty dresser, he was probably checking with Ollie, his wife, to make sure she had pressed his suit and shined his shoes.

And now we have another Sam in our family--will he be a doctor, politician or a scalawag? I pray he will be a man of God and will honor His name as his grandfather Sam and his father Brandon have done.

Friday, July 08, 2005


I've been doing a little study about grace lately and so have reread Max Lucado's In the Grip of Grace. Fine, fine book. He loves Romans as much as my friend Margaret Jolly in Abilene.

I don't often reread books even though I keep them for that purpose--there just too many other books to read. I use the ones on my shelves to study from, I guess. It is so nice to go to your own shelf for a book about grace rather than having to go buy one. I have missed getting Yancey's What's So Amazing About Grace, however.

Anyone want to volunteer a book you have read and reread over the years and why? The Bible doesn't count--untold readings of it never plumb its deep, deep message.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

At random

I got to keep the girls for a little while today. It was fun of course. Ella learned how to make the bottom portion of the recliner work and enjoyed reclining.
They jumped on my bed (don't know if that is permitted at home). Maddie loved watching the live Kathy Rigby version of Peter Pan--especially the flying scenes. She later came to me and said, "Nonnie, I want to fly." Don't we all? And I held baby Sam for a few minutes. What a long little bundle.


Terrible tragedy in London. Westerners give concerts to raise money and concern for those dying in Africa. The terrorists bomb and kill people trying to disrupt the "8" conference where aid for poverty stricken people will be discussed. Music vs. Death?


Nashville is beginning to look like Abilene. No appreciable rain in a long while--I don't like the look of dry and dying lawns and flowers. I've had too much of that in my life.


I am excited to see a copy of the new Renovare Spiritual Formation Bible edited by such names as Richard Foster, Dallas Willard and Eugene Peterson. Reviews say it is too heavy to carry with over 2,000 pages. Some fault the inclusion of the Apocrypha--I think it will be the only Bible I have with that included. Hurry up, Amazon!


Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Summer vegetables

As I write today, the smell of cooking black-peas wafts into the study. IMHO there is nothing more pleasing to the palate than fresh summer vegetables.

Sam delighted in planting a huge garden in the front yard of our house at Potosi. He had okra, squash, canteloupe, peas, beans, asparagus, and other things worked in occasionally like Jerusalem melon which tastes somewhat like a cross between a canteloupe and a mushmelon. So sweet!!! Oh, yes, rows of tomatoes. Once, we even tried our hand at blackberries, but it took too much room away from the other things.

Our summer dinners would be black-eyed peas, canteloupe, peeled and sliced tomatoes and cornbread swimming butter. What a treat.

Thank you God for the treasures of the earth you gave us. You understand how our bodies and tongues long for good food and provide.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005


Time Magazine recently reported that are now over 160 men making their living or working part time impersonating Abraham Lincoln. And there are also 40 women "doing"
Mary Lincoln. In addition to that, there are over 85,000 Elvis impersonators in the U. S. according to Worship Leader Magazine.

What is it that drives these folks to spend their time being someone else? Do they have their own sense of person? Are they driven by that craving for star dust?

Me, I had rather follow II Cor. 3:18 "And we, who with unveiled faces, all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit."

Monday, July 04, 2005

Cuddly God?

In speaking yesterday about the hard sayings of Jesus in John 8, Tim made the statement that perhaps we have made God and Jesus more cuddly than they appear in the Bible.

There was much talk in the 60's about the old gray-haired man with a long beard sitting on a throne in heaven. Then I learned that Abba could be translated Daddy. These seemed irreverent to me and contained much less awe than I had planted in my brain by the "hell fire and damnation" preaching of my childhood.

Perhaps we are still rebeling against that preaching by seeking the softer Psalms to comfort us (nothing wrong with that!)and the pictures of Jesus blessing women and children. I was challenged yesterday by the question, "Would you truly want Jesus sitting beside you in church whispering things in your ear like he told the Pharisees in the temple in John 8?" Would we throw him out or invite him to join the church on the next corner?

It is not very comforting to be told as a "fine upstanding Christian" that you are a child of the devil. The passage made me sad as Jesus had to plead so passionately to the "fine, upstanding Christians" of that day to listen to him and his truth. To believe that he was God's son. What would I have been thinking in that crowd? Would I have leaned down to pick up a rock? Would I have called him a liar? Would I have believed him crazy?

O, God, I do believe in your son and I do yearn to understand his hard teachings. Thank you for his sacrifice and his love for recalcitrant children.

Sunday, July 03, 2005


My neighbors shot fireworks in their backyard last night until 1:00--rather than report them to the police, I turned off all the lights in my house and enjoyed them.

It brought back fond memories of fireworks in Groesbeck. Sam's Uncle Ralph loved fireworks and always spent a lot of money on them when we came, because Sam loved them too. Watching the adults last night helped me recall when the adults would leave the group in the driveway, go squat down with a match and then quickly retreat to the group as the bottle rocket went off.

I remember the delicious delight of holding the roman candle waiting for the thump and eruption of color. And holding sparklers gingerly awaiting the sting of the first sparks. There are some powerful things out there now for the general public--one of the displays last night reminded me of the finale at the fireworks in the stadium in Abilene.

Happy fourth of July! I am thanking God for sending me to this country and for the freedom he has given me in Christ.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Birthday bash

What's more fun than watching 15-20 (nobody ever got a real count) preschoolers play in water and sand; slide down slides, swing in swings, eat birthday cake and open presents? Not much.

Maddie's fourth birthday was a true bash; even baby Sam came outside to watch and listen. Hot dogs and grilled sausage, cowboy salsa and diet lemonade really hit the spot as we mostly sweltered in the heat. I longed to jump in the kiddy pools myself.

Maddie should have enough new toys to last awhile. The hit of the day was the Tinkerbell costume with velcroed wings. She did look like an angel in it.

I remember having one birthday party--it must have been third grade. Only 4 or 5 friends, cake and punch, very simple. I don't remember presents except some paper dolls.

Brandon usually had elaborate birthdays with many friends. One special thing was that Sam made and decorated all his cakes. We had them at home, in Cobb Park, at the skating rink, at McDonalds, at church. It was lovely and lots of fun for his parents. And I observed that happening today--it was lovely and lots of fun for Maddie's parents. Nobody likes a party more than Brandon Thomas.

Friday, July 01, 2005


"Imagination is more important than knowledge." Albert Einstein

This quotation is featured prominently in a mural in the science building at ACU. I think it is appropriate for the students to know that knowledge is not the end of learning.

When I was a librarian at one of Abilene's elementary schools, one of my fourth-grade boys was extremely interested in fairy tales, folk tales, etc. He would check out nothing else despite my best efforts. One day his mother sent a note to me to not allow the boy to check out these books anymore because they contained witches, trolls, hags, wizards, dragons and other "godless" beings. For the remainder of the year, as the class looked for books, the boy sat in the folklore section and looked through all the books he could in 30 minutes. He did not check out another book that year, except those his teacher required for book reports. I often wonder where he is now.

When our imagination fades, so do our brains. What new imaginations can we apply to the worship of God, the living of life in God, community life in the church? Don't we need to try?