Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tuesday Tidbits: Holidays, Good Books, and Other Inspirations

I don't have much time to write today.  I've got a post on St. Stephen due to my Living Lutheran editor and my online grades are due in just under 28 hours.  But let me record some impressions from the last few days.

--My brother-in-law starts a new job in Homestead, Florida this week.  Yesterday we went down to get started on house hunting.  On the way down, we lamented that we didn't bring any Christmas cds, and we tried to find a radio station with Christmas music.  On the way back, my brother-in-law tuned his smart phone to Pandora's Christmas station and held it so that we could all hear it.

--I was touched by his willingness to lean forward with his arm extended for over half an hour.  I was touched by his willingness to find the station on Pandora, even though he knew that my spouse and I would sing.

--In a week it will be Christmas Eve and then the week after that, New Year's Eve.  This morning I went to boot camp class, the last of 2013.  Why do I find that sobering?

--I've been devouring Reza Azlan's Zealot:  The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth.  Why do I find this book so compelling?  Most of this information is not new to me; I've done a lot of reading and thinking about the historical Jesus and how we came to have the Jesus we have now.  But it's well written and interesting to hear these thoughts from a different mind/pen.

--I'm surprised by how many of Azlan's sources I've read and/or heard about.  How did I come to these sources?

--Part of it was the academic papers I wrote back in 1999-2001 about Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents.  I was struck by the Christian/Pauline parallels in the novel, but I needed some scholarly sources to back up what I thought I knew about the history.  And we had a very good history of religion section of the public library.  One source led to another source and in many ways, my life was changed.  I found a Jesus I could believe in, and a variety of theologies that made sense to me.

--I've also been thinking about children's books and wondering about children's books that haven't been written yet.  Could there be a market for books that explore other cultures' holidays?  My Hindu friend is dubious.  I think we should write a book.  I have a title:  "Hey, hey Shefali, Happy Diwali!"  It would be about a main character, Shefali, who takes us through the customs of the holiday.

--But before I embark on other projects, let me finish what needs to be done this week.

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