We had a great time! Charlotte and I enjoyed a week of being together with our daughters and son-in-law in the Smokie Mountains. My favorite part of that trip (besides just being together) was white water rafting on the lower Ocoee River with a wonderful guide. I am ready to go back.
During the last few two months, I have read:
- Anderson Cooper's, Dispatches from the Edge
- Lauren Winner's Real Sex
- Donald Miller's To Own a Dragon
I am still working on a wonderful book by Tim Russert, Wisdom of Our Fathers: Lessons and Letters from Daughters and Sons. Russert's book is funny, sad, and on occasion leaves me with a lump in my throat. A good read!
I have begun using Visual Mind. This is a piece of software that enables a person to "mind map" or visualize what you are thinking. This software originates from Norway. I have been using this tool quite often during the past two months.
In August, I plan to preach through much of the Gospel of Mark. Yes, I have preached most of Mark before. However, I am reading it afresh and have really enjoyed thinking through Mark's message. In particular, I am thinking about his message regarding discipleship and its implications for today. Soon, I will also begin a new series on prayer in a class I teach on Wednesday evenings.
Each morning during July, I have been reading from Phyllis Tickle's prayer book, The Divine Hours. I have found these daily readings to be such a helpful discipline. In particular, I like this line from "The Concluding Prayer of the Church." (Read each morning). "...Preserve me with your mighty power, that I may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity..."
What's new?--odds and ends
Last week, I enjoyed a tour through a furniture manufacturing plant in Mississippi. (Owned by a long time friend). I came away with a greater appreciation for factory workers who do their work with great skill and speed.
A few weeks ago, I spent some time in a Greek Orthodox bookstore in Dallas. Very interesting.
Had good conversations recently with three people who stretch my thinking. For many years, I have been blessed by conversations with ministers, business people, etc. who will allow me to ask questions regarding a variety of subjects. These lunches, coffees, etc. have been so helpful.
Finally, it was so good to see long time friends this past week. Yesterday, our family went to the Cross Point Church of Christ in Florence, Alabama where we saw a number of people who were a part of the church I served years ago in that same city. It was so good to see these people.