Romanian Grace

The dragon sits by the side of the road, watching those who pass. Beware lest he devour you. We go to the Father of Souls, but it is necessary to pass by the dragon. -- St. Cyril of Jerusalem

12 February, 2007

What's on my desk

Some of you may think that I only keep this up out of boredom. I confess that I have lost some steam since before Christmas, but that can easily be attributed to a number of things, the least of which is, I assure you, not my debilitating heel injury. I have a new desk. No, it is not in a glassed in office and I did not get a raise. I sort of got a raise, in a teacher sort of way, in that we have had a new student coming to school lately. Something I had not anticipated but that is good, as it turns out. So. I performed a little furniture shuffle to make room for a new desk, and here I sit. It is a good, sturdy desk in a particle board sort of way, but it has more drawer space than my old one. I guess that kind of thing is important when you spend a lot of time at your desk. And I think I do.

Here's what's on my desk currently: A sermon I have been meaning to read for years. I can't tell you how many pastors have recommended this sermon from the pulpit and in normal conversation. It is called "The Expulsive Power of a New Affection," and the basic premise, as I understand it (I have not gotten very far in it yet), is that the only we way we can ever be moral people is to be so enamored with God, so desirous of Him, that that affection drives every other desire out of our hearts. I think he will make a practical application at the end that says an increased affection for God will also increase our ability to pour ourselves out into the things and people we love in this world. I hope so. Also on my desk is a stapler. It is red and made of steel. I am particularly fond of it since it is the first working stapler I have had here. I have been using lots of paper clips until now. One of my students, who will remain nameless (DLH), broke the first one we bought for the school before school ever started. I have found the power to forgive him, though it has been difficult. I feel so much freer to do so that I have a new and working stapler. I will include a picture of it once I find the charger for my camera's battery.

My laptop, of course, is on my desk, not that it has to be (since it is a laptop) but it is. I am listening to T. Rex right now. I don't know if any of you remember him, but he played some boogie in England back in the late seventies. anyway, I am sort of a late bloomer when it comes to music. I discovered Benny Goodman when I was a junior in high school. Anyway, I would highly recommend this guy if you can find an album of his. It might also be under the name, Mark Bolan. I have been listening to Buddy Holly more intently than in the past lately, and I am amazed at how he was doing a pretty good T. Rex about twenty years before Mark Bolan. I wish I could post music on this blog site. I would grace you all with "Early in the Morning," which contains some black gospel in the background that sounds like a Hammond B3.

Moving on, I have a book on my desk that I have just started called The Promises of Grace, by Brian Chapell. It is an exposition on Romans 8 and is an area in which I am sure I need to grow. Fact is, God promises a lot, and he always makes good on his promises. I wish this book would tell me that God promised I would be really handsome forever and have lots of money and an impressive wife, but I think it will say something more along the lines of his promises to give me peace and joy and never to leave me or forsake me, never to condemn me. I guess that's pretty good too. What I can't escape from is that God probably wouldn't feel the need to remind us of those promises if he did not know we were bound to find ourselves in places where we will most likely forget them or doubt them or question them. That's where I've been camping out lately.

What else...? Ah, yes. I can't wait to read this. I just went to the Chronicles Magazine site and printed off a seven page article called "The Lincoln Fable." I always figured that guy wasn't all he was cracked up to be but never wanted to read a whole book about it. If I had wanted to read a whole book I would have gotten one that came out about four years ago called The Real Lincoln. But I didn't read that, so I have this seven pager that I can probably finish before I go to bed tonight.

Finally, I have my ever-present copy of Annie Dillard's Pilgrim At Tinker Creek, my most beloved book in the world, or at least the one I enjoy reading the most. I am reading back through it to find passages to share with my students next week as we take a look at writing creative non-fiction. That might be my favorite genre in which to write, which is probably because fiction and poetry require far too much thought and creativity As I tell my students, poetry's not for pansies. That's why I steer clear of it.

My desk is not as clean as you might think; I'm just cutting out on you early. I should write tomorrow about the real reason I am still up at 12:38 writing a blog about what's on my desk.


At 21/2/07 04:36, Blogger Richard said...

I met Brian Chapell in Japan... small world... I didnt even know who he was then.


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