Second sabbatical post

Okay, so I had visions of sending out emails telling folks how enlightened I am becoming as I spend time secluded here in Maryland. Then I read the chapter in Eugene Petersons book The Contemplative Pastor about his sabbatical. (One year I might add… whoo, whoo!!) He was fortunate enough to have his wife accompany him. Each of them had committed to writing a periodic message to their congregation and friends as I have committed to. What he discovered was that everyone read his wife’s information about their daily experiences and few read his Pastoral discourses!! So….what to do, what to do…

So that you don’t think I am wasting my time… I have finished 4 books and am in the process of reading two additional ones.

  • Eugene Petersons: The Contemplative Pastor, and Working the Angles.
  • Malcolm Gladwells: The Tipping Point.
  • Jeff Shaaras: The Last Full Measure. (last book in a trilogy about the Civil War)
  • Granted, two of these books I started at home.

I am currently working through

  • Mosab Hassan Yousefs book: Son of Hamas (Interesting book if you want a firsthand look at the inner workings of Hamas by a Muslim insider turned Christian.
  • Dietrich Bonheoffer’s: Life Together
  • Ellen and I are working together/separately through a devotional given to us by dear friends.
  • And I would be remiss if I did not mention that I am studiously working through the 6th volume of Diary of a Wimpy Kid; Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney.

Now for the inside info on life in Cambridge… Can you believe they have no buttermilk here!!!! Not only do they cheer a football team I can’t stand but no buttermilk!!!!

Okay, two things: First I know that many of you are saying to the buttermilk thing: “So what, I hate buttermilk!” That may be, but I don’t. Every now and then I will treat myself and buy a 1/2 gallon of no fat buttermilk. Now how it’s possible to have no fat buttermilk I don’t know… sort of like having “no butter-butter”. Or “non alcoholic Scotch”. But they have it and I like it… My sabbatical will not be ruined by this reality regarding buttermilk, but it is severely tarnished.

And second, many years ago Woody Hayes the legendary coach of the Ohio State football team would not even say the word Michigan in reference to their bitter rivals. He would only say “that team up north.” I used to think that was immature. At least until this week when every time I turned around I came face to face with fans and shirts, and hats, and banners, and bumper stickers… from that team from the city beside Washington D.C. The celebration here over the Steelers loss was obscene! I’m sure if that team loses this weekend (and I hope they do!!) Pittsburghers will handle it with the class we are known for. Yeah right.

Blessings from a buttermilkless town.


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