“I’m convinced that many people in our churches are simply missing the life of Christ, and a lot of it has to do with what we’ve sold them as the gospel, i.e. pray this prayer, accept Jesus into your heart, invite Christ into your life. Should it not concern us that there is no such superstitious prayer in the New Testament? Should it not concern us that the Bible never uses the phrase, ‘accept Jesus into your heart’ or ‘invite Christ into your life’? It’s not the gospel we see being preached, it’s modern evangelism built on sinking sand. And it runs the risk of disillusioning millions of souls.”—David Platt (via azspot)
“We’re not called to be big. We’re not called to be mass-marketing Jesus. We’re not called to have fancy churches. We’re not called to have high steeples. We’re not called to have soft pews. We’re not called to have great programs… What we’re called to do is love. Love is by definition, sacrificial.”—Greg Boyd (via azspot)
“I will remember your small room, the feel of you, the light in the window, your records, your books, our morning coffee, our noons our nights, our bodies spilled together, sleeping, the tiny flowing currents, immediate and forever, your leg my leg, your arm my arm, your smile and the warmth
of you who made me laugh again.”—Charles Bukowski (via sketchofthepast)
“You don’t have to get a job that makes others feel comfortable about what they perceive as your success. You don’t have to explain what you plan to do with your life. You don’t have to justify your education by demonstrating its financial rewards. You don’t have to maintain an impeccable credit score. Anyone who expects you to do any of those things has no sense of history or economics or science or the arts. You have to pay your own electric bill. You have to be kind. You have to give it all you got. You have to find people who love you truly and love them back with the same truth. But that’s all.”—
Zinnias, Kahlua Chipotle Brownie, and Spinach Artichoke Foccacia Bread from the ASU Farmers Market
+ Roughly around 1998 I’d say, I renounced librarians and started a boycott on libraries, one particular library anyway. This wasn’t easy for an avid reader, but on matters of principle, I remained unwavering and stubborn.
For years in my youth, I had continuously donated a large number of books to the Randolph Country Library. Undoubtedly, hundreds of dollars in books over the course of my childhood had ended up resting on the shelves of the small local library. I remained convinced I had read the entirety of their tiny collection, and I suspected that all of the books, besides my donations, were purchased in the 1970s. Still, I read anything, and I relished the library experience: my worn tote bag overloaded with books, their aging yellow pages that smelled delicious and old, the hand written library check out card tucked into the envelope in the inside cover, the hushed voices, and the creaking wood floors.
One summer, while on vacation, a due date escaped me. I returned to the library with the overdue books, convinced I’d be granted amnesty on the fine. I was certain I’d been the one great philanthropist and donor of the Randolph County branch, and as such, I was sure they would overlook the oversight. The librarian, my long time friend whose sweet excited voice would call to tell, “Your interlibrary loan has arrived,” during the weekdays in the summer, unfortunately, would not budge.
In a George Costanza-esque fit, I rashly declared, standing in front of the hallowed shelves, “I am turning in my card. I will not be checking out any more books, and I will never use the library again.” I paid the fine and slid the card her way dramatically. She stared blankly, shrugged her shoulders, and threw the card in the trash. Why I thought that she would be distressed by this declaration, I’m unsure. I went home and forbade anyone in the family from crossing the threshold of the library again. I told them if I found out they’d visited, I would disown them. I then insisted Mama promise me that should I die before her, she be sure that none of the books in my large personal library be donated to the Randolph County Library. Failure to honor the request would result in the haunting of the family, I assured her. I hadn’t been in a library since the late 90s.
Last Saturday, with great apprehension, I visited the Craighead County Library. I feigned disinterest as I eyed the fiction section. While inside, it felt like coming home. The smell was the same. Those lovely plastic covers that make soft crinkling noises when opening the spine of the book…oh, forgotten sound! The brochures on the counter with summer programs were enticing. There was a large dvd section with documentaries lined up on the shelves. People were tucked into armchairs quietly reading, and there was a station with free coffee! Within seconds, I found three books that I wanted desperately to take home. I refused to be persuaded, however, and left the building giving it a forlorn once over before pushing through the exit doors. Outside, I forced myself to concentrate on anything but how sad I felt leaving the library behind. It haunted me the rest of the afternoon, and I kept going back that night to how wonderful it was to be there again. My thoughts, on all the books that were patiently waiting to be read.
Last Sunday afternoon, at 1 p.m. when the Craighead County Library opened, it was with great joy that I renounced my boycott on libraries. I damn near got teary eyed while sliding the tiny key ring card on my keychain. My heart fluttered when I stood in line with a small stack of books in hand. It was one of the nicest feelings I’d had in years.
+ The beer Gods smiled on me last weekend, and I found Abita Strawberry at the Party Store. In reverence to them, I bought a case and drank two six packs this weekend.
+ Still in awe over how yummy the Italian Herb bread by 3 Birds Baking that I got at the Farmer’s Market is, and it smells incredible! The Spinach Artichoke Foccacia is excellent, too! Haven’t tried the brownie pictured above just yet, but I can’t imagine it would be anything but amazing.
+ Excited about learning to can jellies/tomatoes with Bunny and her family this weekend! I’ve wanted someone to teach me forever. Next up, starting my own mini pig and chicken farm! I’m just joking…kinda.
+ Here’s to the cats and I beating the landlord and not getting evicted during Termite Inspection 2012. Whew…until next year, my feline co-conspirators! In celebration, let’s bring out all your hidden jingling balls, tiny catnip mice, food dishes, and scratching posts.