Friday, August 1, 2003

August 1, 2003

3:08 PM Just received copies of my newest book from Broadman & Holman Publishers. He’s God and You’re Not: The Seven Laws of the Spiritual Life has just been released, which means you can order it but it’s probably not in the bookstores just yet. This is the most important book I’ve written, or at least it’s the one that makes the most personal statement about what I believe and what I know to be true. It’s a manifesto regarding the unalterable laws of the spiritual life that guide us on our journey from earth to heaven. By the way, when you visit the website, if you click on “More Information,” that takes you to a longer piece I wrote just for visitors to the website. One note: This book will not be offered for sale at Calvary until the renovation is completed—probably in late October or early November. Right now we’re operating without a Resource Center, which means there are no on-site book sales until all the work is done. So if you want a copy, you’ll need to visit a bookstore or order it online.

3:04 PM Just back from a late lunch with Marlene. Several weeks ago the Trib carried a story on restaurants that serve a sandwich made from fried plantain instead of bread. It’s supposed to be a Puerto Rican tradition even though the article says few restaurants in Puerto Rico make them. So we went to a restaurant north of Humboldt Park in Chicago and both had jibaro sandwiches—mine with steak, hers with chicken breast. The plantain is evidently pounded and then deep-fried so it is stiff enough to hold the contents of the sandwich. Very tasty. I happen to like fried plantain so I had enjoyed myself immensely. In fact, we both said we would order it again.

9:16 AM Here’s a link to the Vatican statement against gay marriage. God bless the Pope for speaking out so forcefully and so clearly on this issue.

8:54 AM Notes from the third installment of Unauthorized Suburbia in the Chicago Tribune. They list Oak Park as # 3 in the best suburban downtowns list (after Evanston and Hinsdale). Here’s their write-up:

Oak Park: This bustling junior Evanston is fast catching up to its suburban role model, but what makes Oak Park different is that there are fewer Northwestern students. But seriously, house prices are shooting skyward here, and it’s easy to see why – with several bustling shopping areas and easy “L” access to downtown, you could make the argument that Oak Park is just Lakeview for people who want bigger back yards.

One note: In the print version, they list Oak Park as #6 and Highland Park as # 3—the online version has them reversed. Obviously, the online version is correct. But that part about Oak Park as a “junior Evanston” must be a joke. Evanston is an “Oak Park wannabe.” And Hinsdale is so far away, it might as well be in another time zone. Other Oak Park notes: In a section called “10 Reasons Why the Suburbs Rule,” they list this: “The urban feel. Some suburbs – Oak Park, Evanston, even downtown Elmhurst – are actually more “urban” than many city neighborhoods.” … And in a section on things not to miss, “Go to the Oak Park Farmer’s Market and (sample) the freshly made doughnuts … the free, mostly bluegrass/folk jam session … (don’t miss) the vendor from Wisconsin who sells goats’ milk soap scented with herbs (of course there is lavender; but try the mint).”

Yes, of course I’m biased, but then I live in Oak Park. When I was speaking in New York and Maine, I invited people to visit us at Calvary and told them you can find Oak Park by looking at the center of a map of greater Chicago, then finding Lake Street and coming halfway between Oak Park and Harlem Avenues. It’s easy to find us: “We’re in the middle of Oak Park, in the center of Chicago, in the heart of America.” People chuckle when I say that, but it’s true.

8:44 AM Hard to believe that July has come and gone already. The school year starts in just a few weeks, college students will be moving into the dorms, and we’re down to the last 31 days of summer vacation. In our little corner of the world, Mark is wrapping up his internship in Dallas, Oregon, Nick is getting ready to go to Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, Josh is working at a Chicago bank, Marlene is getting ready for the new school year, and I’m packing my bags for a week of ministry starting tomorrow night at Gull Lake Bible Conference in Hickory Corners, Michigan.

By the way, Pastor Davis Duggins will be preaching this Sunday at Calvary on “What Would Jesus Pray?” from John 17:20-26. And at this very moment, over 350 people are getting ready to leave in a few hours for Summer Breakaway in Indiana. Marlene and I won’t be there this year (scheduling problems—I accepted the Gull Lake engagement before the Summer Breakaway date was moved to this weekend. It was a good move but I am sorry to miss all the fun this weekend. Breakaway is one of the best events of the whole year.) but those who attend will see me on the big screen tonight. Look for the feathers!

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