Where you can read the relatively rational ramblings of a silly half-monkey, half-boy. This freak of nature is named Joel. He also responds to the name 'Bart Wang'.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

The Magnificent Defeat

Hi. I'm back. I'd love to tell you about our trip but, really, I suck at writing long entries that require thought. Effort, on the other hand? You get that by the truckload. My following posts will prove that.
I read a few books while on the beach of Cozumel. Sometimes, between chapters, I'd grab some food or, more often, Coca-Cola Light (that's how Coke markets Diet Coke). I read two AMAZING books by Frederick Buechner. I picked them up when I was out with Laurie Castellani (hi Laurie - love you!) the week before we left. What a lucky blessing the books were!
As much as I love the arts, I am pretty shallow. I like being spoon-fed. If an artist is to convey their point, they usually have to slap me on the face with it like a dead fish, allowing the impact, foul odour and slimy residue to work together in hopes I will figure it out. I'm dense. At least I know that, though.
Anyhow, these two books by the brilliant Mr. Buechner (I make sure I pronounce your name correctly every time, sir) are The Hungering Dark [read the first chapter here] and The Magnificent Defeat [the first chapter is here]. Mr. Buechner was able to break through my thickness and stirred something within my mind and heart that is rarely roused. I was so moved that I have spent a couple hours typing out two chapters from the latter book (more from each to follow) that I will share with you over a few different posts. These really pierced the fog of Xmas and got to the heart of Christmas for me. They were challenging because I'm very interested in truth, factual truth, clear truth without interpretation or subjection. Mr. Buechner was God's instrument (I won't call him 'God's tool' - ha!) to brighten my spirit and draw me closer to His Spirit.
Some other interesting points... These books were compiled in the mid-to-late 1960s. Their continued vibrancy today is undeniable. I believe they were both based on sermons or lectures he delivered. Have you ever been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize? Frederick was. I discovered Buechner through Philip Yancey's book, Soul Survivor. I count both of those writers as spiritual heroes, mentors, friends I've never met but hope to spend a lot of time annoying in eternity. Thank you, Mr. Buechner, for sharing your thoughts, feelings and gift of putting those into words that have transcended words on a page but wriggled their way into my heart.
For some audio-visual with Mr. Buechner, you can watch eighteen minutes of a documentary completed on him by New Life Films. I just downloaded it and will watch it soon. I hope to buy the whole thing in the near future. Though, I said a couple years ago when they were still producing the thing!


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