Thursday, January 25, 2007

Hey everyone,

Praise God, the sun in shining today! We've had so much cold and rain since the New Year began...

This week has been crazy: because of the last week's ice and such, I missed three days of work and have been scrambling to catch up ever since. It seems the more I do, the more works comes in! But it's good; it's good to be needed. It's good to be serving.

I've been to Borders (bookstore) twice this new year, and it's not enough, I'm such a book addict I need more! But Hannah and I went with my friend Sarah, and we sat in the coffee shop, turning pages, sipping chocolate-covered cherry mocha or green tea (Sarah's choice, obviously not ours) and smiling at baby Noah, her one-year-old son as he crowed in his stroller when Sarah fed him bits of lemon pound cake. I had only a small stack of books which begged my purchase, but I only left with a couple of blank journals.

One book, "Jesus Land: A Memoir" by Julia Scheeres, looked fascinating. It's the author's recollection of growing up as a girl in the 80's with two adopted brothers who are black. I only read the first few made me mad, but it interested me too, and I'll have to read it another time. The second, "Ali and Nino, A Love Story" by Kurban Said, is a fictional novel written "in the fashion of Scheherezade" which clinched my decision to buy IT when next I visit Borders. Amazon's description reads: "Set in the years surrounding the Russian Revolution and the rise of the Soviet Union, Said's tale of an Azerbaijani Muslim boy in love with a Georgian Christian girl..." (Georgian being her nationality, the country of , not our fair state). And thirdly but NOT least by any means was "Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission To Promote Peace...One School At A Time" by David Oliver Relin. He's an American who built schools over in Pakistan! How cool is that.

There seems to be a flurry of books either written by or at least set in the Middle East or "over there" in those countries we're all fixated on and/or don't really like. I love reading about them. I want to know the way "they" think, why "they" think that way, and how can I relate to "them"? And get rid of the "us" vs. "them" mentality. It should be "we" because we're all human, right?

In news completely unrelated to books, I've begun attending a Bible study group, a community group, taught/led by Chuck and Mary Nell Hall on Wednesday nights. Hannah and I scoot from her hip-hop class up Hwy 46 into the hill country to George and Cindy's ranch for approximately 2 hours' of fellowship. The thing I love about this group of people from River City Vineyard Church is its diversity. Married couples, singles, older (I won't say old), middle-aged and young adult are all represented. It's all very reminiscent of home church back in Valdosta. Though we don't attend RCV, we're welcomed there and it's great to have friends outside our own fishbowl at TOL. I remember when we lived in Macon, GA, I attended New Covenant twice a month when we were home visiting, Ingleside Baptist the other two Sundays a month, and a Presbyterian Bible study once a week. I try to be a well-rounded believer, ha ha.

Anyway, I guess that's all that's happening. I've got trays of newsletters waiting to be stuffed and mailed, newsletters waiting to be printed, flyers waiting to be designed, a presentation waiting to be done, displays waiting to be designed...

Love from Texas,

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