31 January 2008

Kwame's Confession

The Mayor of Detroit, Kwame Kilpatrick, made a public confession last night for all of Detroit to experience. Below is an excerpt from the transcript. What do you make of it? To read the entire transcript go to FREEP.COM. I took out Carlita's (Kwame's wife) comments.


KWAME KILPATRICK: Good evening, Detroit. I want to start tonight by saying to the citizens of this great city, I'm sorry.

To all of you who have believed in what we've been doing here since 2002, to all of you who have believed in me, in my leadership, to all of you who have stuck with me through very difficult times, to all of you who prayed for me: I'm sorry.

For the embarrassment and the disappointment the events of the past few days have caused you, for what you as my supporters, many of you, have had to hear as you traveled around our city to beauty shops and barbershops, what you had to hear when you were in church this past Sunday from people who know that you have supported me.

For those of you who have not always been Kwame Kilpatrick supporters, but who lift up our city, who live in our city, who support this town in various ways, I truly apologize to each and every one of you individually and to the whole city.

Most of all tonight, I want to make a public apology to my entire family, and specifically to the four people who I love the most in this world.

First, I want to apologize to my sons, Jelani, Jalil and Jonas. For the first time in my life, I had to have a conversation with my 12-year-old twin sons about very grown-up things. It was, without a doubt, the hardest conversation that I've ever had in my entire life.

Finally, and most importantly, I want to make a public apology to my wife, Carlita, who I fell in love with when I was 19 years old. We decided to build a family together, and we did that.

Our marriage has not been perfect, but it has been great. Now, I put her in a situation which many couples deal with in the privacy of their own homes, but in our case, it's on the front page of the newspaper. This dynamic, strong, caring woman has been forced to go through this very difficult experience because of me. I truly apologize to you.

As many of you know, I'm not the type of person who displays my emotions in public, but I have to tell you I've felt more emotion in the last week than I have in the past 20 years. I've been truly hurting. I've been hurting because I know that many of you are hurting. And most of all, I've been hurting because I know my family is hurting. And I'm responsible for that.

29 January 2008

Fresno and Phil

The Fresno ZOE Conference was a great event. The College Church of Christ has become a special place of rest, friendship, and family for me these last two years.

I returned from Fresno late Sunday night (Monday morning) . . . well . . . late for me . . . 3 a.m. As I was driving from the airport home, I thought, there’s one person I can call right now that would not shoot me: my dad.

For the last twenty-plus years, my dad has worked the midnight shift at Children’s Hospital as a respiratory therapist. In fact, when I was younger, he worked two jobs—always the midnight shift.

I have many friends who lament that “my dad never made time for me” or “my dad was great with everyone except his own family.” I empathize with these people . . . but I cannot relate.

My father was always around. He was always there. Always present. Always willing to play catch, go for a jog, watch hoops, play one-on-one.

From seventh to twelfth grade he (nor my mom) never missed one sporting/church event. We played football, baseball, soccer, basketball and tennis and he was there for every single game. Of course, the post-game “Dad-nalysis” was part of the experience, but I’d gladly take that than a dad who’s out of town on business, the dad who’s on the golf-course five days a week with clients and no time for his family. My father did not spend his time thinking about his own career, education, or “dreams”—he was fully invested in developing his family.

I can honestly say my dad was one of my closest friends in High School. I was never embarrassed to have him drop me off some where. Never ashamed to hang out with him at the movies or the mall.

He used to write me little notes before big games: “You can do it.” “I believe in you.” “You the man.” Little pieces of paper I still have in a box in my basement. He’ll never know how much those little pieces of paper meant. I get emotional just thinking about our game day breakfasts at a local joint, or our pre-game meal at Subway.

Anyways . . .

I called my dad on the drive from the airport Monday morning. Sure enough, at 2:54 a.m. he answered as he always does, “Respiratory--Phil Graves.” We talked about my trip, grad school, his upcoming adventure to Alaska (he’s going to camp by himself in the wilderness for two weeks).

To all the fathers out there: You don’t know what it means when a son knows he can call you at any hour of the day, knowing that for one brief moment, the person on the other end of the phone is your biggest fan and confidant.

To all the sons out there: You don’t know what it means when a dad knows that his son loves him so much, that the person he wants to talk to when he’s going on four hours sleep is…well…his dad.

My biggest fear in life is that I won’t be half the dad my father was. I am so engrossed in my education, plans, dreams, work, vocation, and opportunities . . . I pray I will honor Phil by being the encourager and man he was/is in my life.

26 January 2008



I can't believe Kwame Kilpatrick, mayor of Detroit, could be this incompetent. Not only is he in danger of prison time, he's not even capable of breaking the law in an effective manner.

2007 was the year of big political scandal--Republican or Democrat notwithstanding. It looks like 2008 will continue the same song; albeit...with a different verse.

He didn't learn from Nixon, Clinton, or Barry Bonds. America is one of the most forgiving nations in the history of the world. But...one has to confess. Instead, Kwame lied under oath (federal offense) and is now hiding out in his Florida villa (I don't even want to know how be purchased that home).

I love Detroit. I want to see it make a comeback. This kills me.

So, I'm pleading with you, Kwame.

Kwame...please come clean with it. Face your demons. Let the chips fall where they may. If you care about the city more than the little kingdom you've created...this is exactly what you'll do.

This isn't a black thing. This isn't a white thing. This isn't a left thing. This isn't a right thing.

This is about being a man and a leader.

24 January 2008

Springsteen, Herod, and One Hot Preacher's Wife

. . . That just might be my favorite blog title to date.

If you want to have a thin-space moment (the British phrase for the times and places in our lives when heaven and earth kiss), listen to these three songs on Bruce Springsteen's LIVE IN DUBLIN: When the Saints Go Marching In, This Little Light of Mine (yes, you read that correctly), and We Shall Overcome.

The third verse of When the Saints goes like this: "When the new world is revealed . . . when the new world is revealed, oh when the new world is revealed. Lord, how I want to be there on that morning . . . when that new world is revealed."


I just finished reading Eugene Peterson's THE JESUS WAY: A CONVERSATION ON THE WAYS THAT JESUS IS THE WAY. The last three chapters are vintage Peterson: He looks at the historical/biblical characters of Herod (and his counterpart: Essenes), Caiaphas (his counterpart: the Pharisee's), and Josephus (and his counterpart: the zealot's) in light of the spirituality Jesus embodied in his hown life. This completes his trilogy on "spiritual theology"--it's a must read for anyone who's interested in following Jesus in a world as complex as ours.


The last three months has been a great time for family, friends, local church work, reading, writing (draft one of my first book, Jesus Feast, is complete!), and Sabbath Rest. Like all seasons, that time is now coming to an end.

Writing projects are intensifying, travel increases, and new church endeavors are just on the horizon. I feel rested and ready to see what God is up to in 2008. However, things are a changin'-- the next six months is going to be a great adventure: ZOE, DETROIT MISSION WEEK, TULSA WORKSHOP, TEACHING AT RC, TWO MAJOR WRITING PROJECTS, UGANDA TRIP, and LIPSCOMB SERMON SEMINAR, DOCTORAL WORK AT COLUMBIA--it all heats up now. Too bad the state I live in can't say the same.

I'm just glad I get to share the path with the most beautiful woman in the world.

Seriously, she's a hot preacher's wife.

21 January 2008

The Peculiar Institution

Slavery, as it came to be in the United States of America, was quite the "peculiar institution." Here lies the major place where preachers and theologians (both Northern and Southern) went wrong in their exegesis/hermeneutics (interpretation) per the Bible: Slavery in America was different than slavery in many ancient cultures (including Israel and Rome). Period.

The belief that God preferred America over all other nations (hence, many viewed America as the New Israel; Manifest Destiny)only complicated things. I'll save that discussion for another day.

The conviction that ancient slavery and modern American slavery are two completely different entities is true in (at least) three major ways.

First, slavery in America was for life. In most ancient cultures, slavery was a fixed sentence. In fact, in Israel's life, God makes his chosen nation release the slaves after a fixed period of time. In America however, once you were a slave it was virtually impossible to break out of the shackles that bound (save Frederick Douglas).

Second, slavery in America tore apart family systems. Marriages between slaves were not honored . . .children were torn apart from their mother's and father's as an afterthought. If you want to get a sense of the moral corruption this produces, read the Pulitzer Prize Winning novel, The Known World.

Third, slavery in America was primarily relegated to one race: Africans/Blacks. This is perhaps the greatest tragedy of Social/Religious life in America. This is what many "smooth" over, turning their privileged noses in apathy. The slave system that fueled southern life was based upon the belief that blacks were inferior to all whites. Blacks, in this epistemology, were non-human; animals despised by their superior counterparts.

The Civil War (and the Emancipation Proclamation) may have dealt with slavery but it did not . . . it could not . . . deal with the pervasive attitude that Blacks were an inferior being.

This is why Martin Luther King is such an important leader in American/World History. He reminded one of the greatest civilizations in the history of the world that her foundational documents declared every person equal under the eye of the all seeing God. He challenged America to live up the very ideals she dared to boast to the rest of the world. He called America to actually be who she thought she was: a land where all men and women are recognized as persons created in the image of God.

The question that keeps me up some nights: What will my children point out in thirty years, "Dad . . .how did you miss that? How did you not see God moving in that area . . . among those people?"

I'm told by many scholars today that there are more persons living in slavery (e.g. sex slavery in Asia) today then there were during just prior to America's bloody Civil War.

20 January 2008

Another Sunday in the "D"

Today was a record day in Cass Park--our (not so) routine work of feeding and spending time with our friends (the homeless and poor) in this section of Cass Corridor. Actually, three records were set today. 1) We had the most college students ever for one activity in Cass Park 2) We had the most food ever prepared by dozens of women and men from our church and 3) It was 12 degrees outside. And . . . since we were in the city . . .it felt like -5 degrees (tall buildings block the sun and allow "wind tunnels" to swirl about).

One man said to me, "We sho' do appreciate you coming out on a day as cold as today." That made ever minute of preparation, every moment in the city worth it.

Since we're on the eve of honoring one of the great leaders of American history (Dr. King), it's appropriate to remember one of his prophetic lines:"A religion which cares about men's souls but not men's bodies might be a religion but it is not the Christian religion," (paraphrase).

17 January 2008

A Day's Work

I’m interested to learn how people organize their daily lives. I'm very interested in schedules, meetings, projects, renewal time, etc. (A friend of mine used to schedule his day in 15 minute increments. He does not do that anymore.)

A few people have said to me recently, “What do you do all day, Josh?” Churches deserve to know what their ministers are up to. At the same time, ministers need the trust of their churches.

So . . . Here's exactly what I did yesterday. WARNING: Wednesday's are usually my busiest day. Therefore, don't assume everyday is like yesterday. Most days, I’m usually home by 6pm (usually).

9am-930am: Responded to about 20 e-mail’s related to my ministry with young adults and college students (small group's, pastoral care issues, ministry linkage, future opportunities, short-term mission, and Cass Park).

930am-10am: I worked on a 2008 "Timeline" for all of the ministry projects I'm responsible for in this calendar year (South Oakland Shelter, Bob Russell, Retreat, Detroit Mission in Cass Park, Uganda, Teaching Plan with Patrick, etc.) Kelly Harrison is a great co-worker who keeps me on task and on track.

10am-1045am: Made a handful of pastoral calls to people who are hurting, disconnected, searching, etc.

11am-1130am: Worked on my “Introduction to the Christian Faith” course (Rochester College).

12pm-2pm: Met with Rubel Shelly, John Barton, and a team of local ministers in planning the upcoming RC Resource! Seminar. It’s going to be a great event (I even managed to have a conversation with a fellow minister about Barak Obama).

230pm to 4pm: Finished my 2008 "Timeline" project, discussed upcoming teaching series with Patrick, did some research for a lecture I'm giving today at Rochester College "Reflections on Pastoral Care in Our Complex World."

400pm-405pm Banana break (I'm a banana junkie).

405pm-430pm: Prep for my Uganda Mission meeting, and South Oakland Shelter meeting for the evening.

430pm-545pm: Did my training "work-out" for my Triathlon in June. I swam for twenty minutes (500m) and ran 2.5 miles.

545pm-6pm: Printed off a fundraiser letter for Uganda trip.

6pm-7pm: Met with RC Students about a six-week Uganda internship.

7pm-8pm: Wednesday worship gathering (Connections).

8pm-845pm: South Oakland Shelter Leaders Meeting.

9pm-1130pm: Dinner and Great Conversation with Kara. American Idol. Intervention. Book. Bed.

As you can tell, my least favorite line from friends and family, "Well, you only work one day week." Or . . . "Josh isn't doing anything, he can help." It's true: ministry tends to attract extreme personalities: a) the lazy/just-do-enough types and b) the perfectionist/I-wish-there-29-hours-in-a-day types. Both are equally dangerous.

Our time is one of the most sacred gifts God provides. How we spend our time is our gift back to him. Work, exercise, pastoral care, reading, organization, and REST, are all important in our lives as spiritual beings.

What did you do on Wednesday? My work is no more important than the work of a mother, teacher, lawyer, doctor, administrator, etc. I’d love to hear what your day consists of.

15 January 2008

Church Numbers, The Nation of Islam

Last night, I sat on a panel with ministers and pastors from various evangelical denominations to discuss “Big Church/Small Church: A Conversation about Church Growth, Evangelism, and Church in the Age of Marketing.”

Once again, Calvin Moore has done an excellent job with putting together this series (House of God).

Some of the ministers represented pastor mega-churches (22,000 and 6,000 respectively). I represented the medium-large church (1,000—less than one percent of all American churches are larger than 850 people). Three other pastors represented “small churches” (200, 20, and 15 respectively).

I toyed with idea of beginning the panel with this quote, “I think—tide turning—see, as I remember—I was raised in the desert, but tides kind of—it’s easy to see a tide turn—did I say those words?”—President Bush in Washington D.C.; June 14, 2006

Or, I could've turned to Michael Scott for wisdom: ". . . Am I a great leader? Yes. Yes I am."

The conversations ranged from whether or not Joel Osteen’s church is “orthodox” to Barak Obama’s UCC ties in Chicago (c.f. African emphasis); to the marketing that takes place in the confines of the “evangelical Christian ghetto.” It was a spirited conversation, full of wisdom, passion, experience, and (some) humility.

When discussing the mystical (my word) relationship between the people of God and the gathering of God’s people, I told this story.

Along with one other college friend, I once went to hear Cummings debate two Muslim ministers, over a two day period, concerning the reliability of Scripture versus the truthfulness of the Koran. I went to hear Cummings the first night by myself. I was the only white person “in the house.” I was treated with great respect and dignity by the Christians hosting this event. The second night was the debate/dialog session between Muslim Ministers and Christian pastors.

It was quite a scene.

There were only two white guys in the standing-room only auditorium—yours truly and Mark Johnson (who was probably wondering what I’d talked him into exactly). For the most part, the dialog was amicable. Many fine philosophical and theological points were highlighted and debated. What I remember from this night, however, had little do with the former and everything to do with identity.

Near the end of the session, a middle-aged black man sitting next to me, stood up in front of the all-black gathering, mixed with Christians and Muslims, and pointed his long finger in my face saying, “You mean to tell me…you Christians…that you don’t see who this man is.” My heart began racing. He was staring down at me. “This man is the devil. The white man is the devil.” I’m quite sure my face was red as I slumped deeper and deeper into the old wooden pew which, thirty seconds previously, was a fine piece of furniture. Now, it was the most uncomfortable chair in the history of the world.

The crowd grew silent. The place, all of the sudden, was eerily empty.

Just when I thought my heart was going to burst, an older African-American woman put her arms around me and said with great passion, “Excuse me, sir. This man (referring to me) is my brother in Christ. I have more in common with this man because we were baptized into the same Lord Jesus.”

For one of the few times in my young life, in that moment, I felt like I belonged to something spiritual, something other-worldly. Never had I been so convinced of the truth and power of the story of Jesus for a modern and complicated society like ours in these United States.

Never had the word “my” sounded so good to me

14 January 2008

Michael Scott and George W. Bush

Wise words of wisdom from two of the more entertaining people in American culture: Michael Scott (The Office) and George W. Bush (President of the United States). Of course, one of these men is "made-up" . . . one of these men is real.

You decide.

"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."--George W. Bush in Washington D.C.; August 5, 2004

"Am I gonna tell them? No, I'm not going to tell them. I don't see the point of that. As a doctor, you would not tell a patient if they had cancer."--Michael Scott, on downsizing

12 January 2008

CC:M Has a Home!

One of the most rewarding elements of local church ministry is to watch a group of men and women come together to take risks for the kingdom of God.

Good work putting this together Ashley.

09 January 2008

Blank Sheet

O.K. Here's the deal.

You get to start a church "from scratch" (note to the theological purist in you--I don't mean "scratch" as in with no understanding of history, experience, etc). You have been empowered by the leadership team of your local church to begin an extension worship gathering/community in an area lacking strong evangelical churches.

Two questions.

What characteristics do you strongly desire to see embedded in the DNA of the church?

What unique practices would be important for this community to reach non-followers of Jesus?

If you are interested to see what our faith community is thinking and dreaming . . . check out THIS SITE.

UPDATE: This link has a more complete description of CC:M's mission and vision.

08 January 2008

The Ohio State University

I heard this on the radio today and laughed really hard. Sorry Buckeye faithful. Sports is, I'm afraid, the civil religion of the United States.

Dear Ohio State:

Sometimes in life you have to admit that being good is acceptable. Only a small minority can say they are the best; the elite. So, it's all right to admit that you've been demolished the last two years, exposing the weakness of the Big Ten and the fallacy of your own "mystique." Being second isn't so bad.



07 January 2008

Hoop Dreams

I'm going to throw a change-up into the normal discourse on this blog. I went to the Celtics/Pistons game with my brother Saturday night. The two best teams (in theory at least) squared off in a conference-finals-like atmosphere. Jason and I realized that we've now been Pistons fans since 1988--this is our twentieth season. We fell in love with the Bad Boys when we moved from Wichita to Metro Detroit as young boys. We traded the soccer field for the hardwood.

The joint was jumpin'.

Being at the game with my brother reminded me of something I'd written this summer when the Cavs beat the Pistons in the Eastern Conference Finals.


I have a good friend who, every time I mention the Pistons, thinks of the “Bad Boys” he loves to hate. This friend, I’ve concluded, only remembers the Pistons for the era in which they were known for hard fouls, trash talking, intimidation, and a little rough-housing.

I have been a Detroit Piston fan since the 1987-88 season—I was eight years old and the Pistons were the young, upstart team on the NBA block. They were formidable going into the ’87 season, but they were not yet feared.

Isaiah Thomas was the fearless leader. Pound for pound, Zeke is one of the best basketball players in the history of the game.

Joe Dumars was the glue: the team’s best defender and clutch three point shooter. Dumars, according to Michael Jordan, was the best defender he’d ever faced, period. Add to that Dumars character and integrity and you know why this unknown college player from McNeese State, and you can understand why he is one of Michigan’s most respected sports icons. In a blue collar town full of self-made men and women, Dumars epitomizes the Detroit ethos of effort and humility. This is why, for instance, Ben Wallace was adored during his time in the D. Detroit, like Pittsburgh and Cleveland, prides itself on not being “LA”-ish. This also explains why some point out the hypocrisy of adoring any NBA player for the $60 million dollar contracts one can secure in an inflated system.

Back to the Bad Boys.

Vinnie Johnson, the microwave, could come off the bench and score ten points in two minutes. It is said that Vinnie would have started for any team not named Detroit, LA, or Boston.

Adrian Dantley/Mark Aguirre played small forward. Dantley, a great player and rare scorer, was traded during this era to the Dallas Mavericks. Mark Aguirre was a childhood friend of Isaiah—they grew up on the tough streets of Chicago. Aguirre played at DePaul, Isaiah went to Indiana. The two remained close friends and it is thought of by most Detroit sports gurus that Isaiah demanded that Aguirre (his guy) be brought to the Bad Boys. Even if that meant parting with Dantley.

The post players for the Pistons were by “committee”. John Salley, from Georgia Tech, was an athletic shot blocker who brought swagger and confidence. I met Salley when I was in the seventh grade. I though he was a god. Then I touched his ring and I believed I’d received some of his deity. Dennis Rodman (before he went loco) was the energy, diving for loose balls, mixing it up with the other teams elite players. James “Buddha” Edwards was a seven foot small forward, raining fade-away jump shots from anywhere on the floor. Rick Mahorn was the muscles and grit. Bill Laimbeer was the hatchet man, Isaiah’s bodyguard and thug. Laimbeer, much to the chagrin of NBA enthusiasts, might be the best shooting seven footer (save Dirk) in the history of the league.

In all, the Pistons one back to back NBA Championships in 1989 and 1990. In ’89, the Pistons swept the Lakers, and in ’90 they defeated the Trail Blazers in five. The Pistons had to get past the mighty Boston Celtics, led by my earl childhood hero, Larry Bird. By now, ESPN has engrained this fact: every great team/player has to overcome another terrific team. The Celtics had to beat the 76ers. The Pistons had to beat the Celtics. The Bulls had to beat the Pistons. And on and on and on it goes.

Now, the Cavs have beaten the Pistons.

I’ve enjoyed watching, studying, and cheering for the second championship wave Pistons over the last five years. Who could ever forget their upset of Kobe and Shaq in the 2004 Finals, breaking up the best duo in the history of pro ball? Like the Bad Boys (who will be remembered for not shaking the Bulls hands after they swept the Pistons in ’91), there are things about this group I don’t care for (their haphazard attitude, Rasheed’s constant complaining)—but all in all, they have been a rare thing: a true team in an era of superstar promotion and attention.

Now it’s Nash (the best player in the world) Kobe, LeBron, DWade, and Dirk for the next several years. The problem with “team basketball” is that it’s too boring. That’s why the NBA is thrilled that the Pistons and Spurs will not be playing again in the Finals. It’s all about ratings. It’s all about money.

If I have a glaring idol in my life, it’s basketball. I fight it and fight it, and probably always will. “My name is Josh and I’m addicted to basketball.”

Basketball has been a huge part of my life. I’ve spent hours upon hours in the gym either a) practicing b) playing or c) watching (my father took my brother and I all over the state of Michigan when I was in middle school and high school watching other great players such as Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Robert Traylor, and Howard Eisley). It was the afore mentioned Pistons who captured my imagination with passing, defense, emotion and raw guts.

As trite as it might sound, until five or six years ago, basketball gave me a purpose, something to concentrate on, something to consume my mind.

Basketball has also forged unshakable relationships. A young man can never forget his father spending an entire Saturday, as mine did, installing a light on top of the garage which neighbors came to detest claiming the light “lit up the entire street.” How many cold fall, winter and spring evenings did I spend in the driveway with my dad first shoveling snow (it’s Michigan) then working on 10ft, 12ft, 20 ft jump shots? Too many to count. A thousand? Five thousand?

I’m still friends with one of my high school teammates, who became a much better college play than I, earning All-American his senior year for a team that was ranked number one in the country.

And I’ll always be close to the guys I played college hoops with, along with the coaching staff. I tell people that this team was one of the best examples of church I’ve ever experienced.

Perhaps that’s why I’ve enjoyed the last five years of my life—playing my last college basketball game in March of 2002. I’ve been able to find new passions: theology (which was emerging as I entered into college and sat at the feet of teachers like David Fleer, Dave Greer and Greg Stevenson), ministry in the church and with the poor, and writing.

Just to show you how ingrained hoops is in my soul—I could not turn down the chance to coach college basketball when my friend Klint Pleasant invited me to join his staff at Abilene Christian University. Balancing grad school, work, and Kara (we’d just gotten engaged) proved too much—I only lasted one year at ACU before I returned to Nashville to finish seminary and work with my rabbi, John York.

So, if blogs have replaced journals than this is the closest I’m getting to painful confession. I love hoops. I am a recovering hoops addict. There, it’s out in the open.

04 January 2008


Fascinating story-lines in last night's events in Iowa.

Is it me . . . maybe I'm crazy . . . but both Obama and Huckabee sounded like preacher's in their victory speeches?

So, let me ask a question that might stir the pot a bit: Would you rather listen to Huckabee preach at church on Sunday . . . or Barak Obama? This does not necessarily indicate who you would vote for. Huckabee is a former Baptist minister; Obama got his start working for the poor in Chicago. And, despite what some are reporting--Barak Obama is a Christian. He's a member of the United Church of Christ.

One person said to me recently, "But he's got a Muslim name! It sounds like Osama." That's about as smart as assuming that the people who live on my street in suburban Detroit are Jewish/Christians because their name is Joseph, Sara, Mary, Deborah, Jacob, or Samuel. That Barak can't be a Christian becuase his name is Osama is the kind of prejudice that runs deep in W.A.S.P. Americana.

I have to admit: I'm impressed with Huckabee as a person. I don't agree with him on some key issues (more on that in the future). However, I find him to be authentic, sincere, transparent, and honorable.

02 January 2008

The Shack

I read several good books in 2007. I read a few great books. And then, due to a friend's strong urging, I read a book that I'll cherish for a long, long time.

The book is simply titled The Shack. Click here to read more about the project and impact of the book.

Mackenzie Allen Phillips' youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later in the midst of his Great Sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend.

Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change Mack's world forever.

In a world where religion seems to grow increasingly irrelevant The Shack wrestles with the timeless question, "Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain?" The answer Mack gets will astound you and perhaps transform you as much as it did him.

I would give this book to a Ph.D. as well as the blue-collar factory worker. It's that good.