This new season
Today I will write the final pages of my Historical Theology exam. We had two days to answer the question of the role philosophy has played in the formation, defense, and dissemination of the Christian faith over the past 2000 years. Great question. I’ve got 20 pages so far and it’s not due til 3:00. Funny thing is, I wouldn’t have been able to write a paragraph let alone a page on a topic like this four months ago. Education is real. And it is most definitely good.
Tomorrow, I will put together a quick ppt presentation to support my term paper for my final class in Paul’s letter to the Romans. I wrote the whole thing as an attempt to understand how he comes to claim that sin leads to death. I mean, really: this is not a line that resonates with modern ears. But I believe the truths of Scripture to be timeless. And so it must be my ears that need adjusting. I’m sort of amazed at what I discovered as I wrote it: in a nutshell, almost every civilization since the dawn of time—pagan, Hebrew, Christian, Muslim—believed that all the good things of this world—food, shelter, rain, love, life—come from God/gods. Even the great thinkers of Greek philosophy understood that sin was real, and that it represented a state of alienation from the Ultimate source of Wisdom, a state of alienated being that leads in only one direction. Something to think about.
The other cool thing is what’s been happening with The Pitcher’s Mom. I love this book. Loved it when I wrote it 7 years ago, when Graham was still a ballplayer. But publishers wouldn’t take a chance on it. Said women won’t read a book about sports. I said “maybe that’s because you don’t publish any books about sports from the woman’s perspective.” Deaf ears. With the advent of e-books, this all changed. No longer did I have to wait for a publisher to pay me an advance (as they had with Baptism by Fire) and put the book out for me. I could do it myself. Which I did six weeks ago. Taught myself everything I needed to know in between readings about Constantine and Corinth. I guess you could say God gave me a nudge: hey, baseball season’s coming up, why don’t you get that book out and offer it on Kindle. Let’s see what happens.C’mon, it’ll be good.
And things are really starting to happen. Over the weekend I ran a two-day free promotion on amazon and 15,000 people downloaded the book. Some of them must be reading it and liking it because each morning I see that more and more people are starting to buy it, borrow it, and tell their friends about it. This is what gives me the greatest joy! When you work alone all day, year after year, you can get a little hungry for feedback. Here are two of the lovely reviews on amazon that came in since the weekend:
“I enjoyed every chapter of this book- having raised a son who lived & breathed baseball for much of his life, the characters really resonated with me. The story flows so well, & brought back wonderful memories. Highly recommend, and look forward to more from this talented writer.”
“A friend of mine recommended this book, and I downloaded it yesterday while watching my daughter play in a Softball Tournament. It was SUCH an appropriate book for the occasion! Not too deep — and definitely a story I can relate to. As the very un-athletic Mom to two athletes, one of whom is a pitcher, this book mirrored my life in so many ways. Just like Jill, I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing. No handbook exists for managing your child’s softball “career” when you’re scared to catch her fastball. From ill-chosen parking spaces to driving a mobile locker room to the way a sport can completely take over your life, this book resonated with me. I felt like a friend was telling me her story. The perfect summer read. Have already recommended it to several more friends!”
May this be a month that showers each one of us with blessings. And may we be wise and humble and grateful enough to acknowledge the source.