1) My hearts tendency to legalism is manifested most clearly when I look in the Bible for what to do, as if Holy Writ was given to me as a self help book. What needs to happen is for me to go to the scriptures and listen for what God is saying about himself and myself and my neighbor.

2) One of the more staggering stats of the young baseball season is Andrelton Simmons having 49 plate appearances with no strikeouts. Back in 1929 Joe Sewell went 115 games without a strikeout. I’m not sure how many plate appearances that was but it was 437 at bats. He only struck out 4 times that season. And averaged only 1 K every 62.6 at bats over his hall of fame career making him the hardest batter to strikeout in MLB history.

3) While April is a little colder than I’d prefer, springtime in Birmingham is really glorious with all the azaleas and lilies and irises blooming and the trees are a blinding green. It’s hard to sit at a desk, you feel like your body is about burst with the need to sit outside and laugh with friends.
Spring is great everywhere but hometown Spring is singular.

4) Obscurity with my wife in a quiet room with a book is preferable over out with the movers and shakers.

5) I got a note this week from a pastor who has been taking his small group through my book. That group has among its members a banker and a plumber. So my week has been made. If those two were encouraged at all it’s worth it. The royalty checks are nice. And necessary. But hearing that? It’s a particular kind of wealth that cannot be earned or bought.

6) Went to a ball game downtown last night. Had a hot dog and an orange drink. We have some serious award inning restaurants in town but I’d chose a ball game, a dog and an orange drink over them every single time.

7) Over the past week I’ve helped a 75 yr old lady with $2 to her name and another elderly lady in tears, who lost a daughter in law to the long battle of cancer. I’ve sat between two broken marriages. And I’ve spent 2 hours talking with a woman whose drug-addicted son has been stealing from her and she has to bolt her bedroom door from the inside when she sleeps at night, when she can sleep. I would not have chosen this preparation for the pastorate, but it is the wisdom of God.

8) The Psalms are full of the Blues and sometimes you can hear Mississippi John Hurt and Son House and Big Bill Broonzy in them.

9) I long for a vacation the way a fat kid longs for cake.

10) It sounds like some tired cliche but work is far more tolerable when I am praying for my fellow employees and my bosses. Sometimes those prayers are more like the groans of creation waiting for redemption, but still.

11) The songs sung by the characters in the The Lord of the Rings are very different than the songs sung after the adventure begins.