Thursday, January 17, 2008

Friday Five: Read any good books lately?

Well, it's my week to write the Friday Five for the RevGalBlogPals, so here goes!

The website promoting this piece of art says, "For the first time, the worlds most influential religious texts are brought together and presented on the same level, their coexistence acknowledged and celebrated”. The shelf is made of reclaimed wood that contains seven religious books. The designers have put them – literally – on the same level.

Well, pish posh! I think that some books ARE better than others! How about you?

1. What book have you read in the last six months that has really stayed with you? Why? I just finished reading "Look Me in the Eye" by John Elder Robison. It tells about his life as someone with Asperger's Syndrome. Soda Chicky's friend Flying Monkey has Asperger's which is a mild form of autism. It is a fascinating book. The guy designed special effects for Kiss when he was a teenager, among other things. It was helpful in understanding what Flying Monkey deals with every day and it was also a very poignant read.
  1. 2. What is one of your favorite childhood books? I've gone on and on about Madeleine L'Engle so her books are a given but before I got to her books I read every Beverly Cleary book I could get my hands on.

3. Do you have a favorite book of the Bible? Do tell! Why did I write this question??!! It's too hard to pick just one! Some favorite though are definitely Mark, Romans and I Corinthians.

4. What is one book you could read again and again? C.S. Lewis' "Chronicles of Narnia" come off the shelf once a year.

5. Is there a book you would suggest for Lenten reading? What is it and why? I strongly suggest getting a copy of "The Last Week" by Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan. You may not agree with everything they have to say but it's a tremendous book. And there is some great fodder for Lenten and Holy Week sermons.

And because we all love bonus questions, if you were going to publish a book what would it be? Who would you want to write the jacket cover blurb expounding on your talent? I'd love to write a children's novel for that tween age range. I also have an idea for a "How To" book for congregation councils. As for the blurb writer.... Madeleine L'Engle would have been my first choice. Hmmm.... not sure who to pick now....

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

St. Matthew's Prayer Rug

Earlier this week, Bug Man asked me if I had seen this letter we had gotten from some church. I shilly shallied for a while before opening it, but then curiousity got the best of me.

This "church" called St. Matthew's had sent me a prayer rug. The photo to the right is a copy someone else posted to the net.

“Look into Jesus’ Eyes you will see they are closed,” it instructed at the bottom. “But as you continue to look you will see His eyes opening and looking back into your eyes. Then go and be alone and kneel on this Rug of Faith or touch it to both knees. Then please check your needs on our letter to you. Please Return this Prayer Rug. Do not keep it.” On the back of the “rug,” it warned that it “must be mailed to a second home that needs a blessing after you use it.”

Strange stuff, indeed. Not the way I usually go about my daily prayers. A letter was included which said, “Would you like to have God’s blessings upon your home, your family and finances?” it asked. “Just put a (check) mark by your needs below, telling us that you want prayer.” There were boxes to check if you wanted health, a better job, to stop a bad habit, a new car, a money blessing, or “a home to call my own.” There was even a blank space to write in the amount of money you wanted God to bless you with. The letter was signed, “Your Brothers & Sisters in Christ, Saint Matthew’s Church.”

There was another sheet with testimonials to the power of this “prayer package.” Most of the
"proofs" were related to money. Y.G.” said she had only $50 to last until payday, but that after using the Prayer Rug, she was blessed with $46,888.20.

Yikes! This is some kind of powerful paper prayer rug! In looking into the matter further, it seems this outfit is only a little bit like church. They didn't have a building until a few years ago and apparently they only offer services in Spanish. English will be coming soon! The monies sent to this group go to some attorney/pr person and according to a legitimate news source there is little evidence to support the group's claim to be a church.

It is troublesome at best. Although they said they really needed my prayer rug back, I put it in the recycling with yesterday's newspapers.