I want to begin again post-vacation with a congratulatory note. Last Friday afternoon, Mandy, Tori and I were in the grocery store shopping when my cell phone rang. The voice on the other end was new daddy, Jimmy Mitchell. Jimmy and Liz welcomed their baby girl into the world on Friday evening, naming her Jenniva Elizabeth. She tipped the scale at 8 lbs. 15.5 oz.
I can't think of two people who are primed to be ideal parents for a little girl than Jimmy and Liz. Little Jenniva will be one fortunate little girl to grow up under the guidance and nurturing of her parents.
Congrats, Jimmy and Liz...and I miss you guys dearly.
I have watched so many football games in my life I couldn't even begin to fathom the number. But, I have never seen an ending to a game as exciting as the Boise State win over Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl on New Year's night. Three touchdowns in the final 1:26. Overtime. Trick plays by the Broncos to upset the heavily favored Sooners. And a marriage proposal from Ian Johnson, Boise's star running back to his cheeleader-girlfriend in the post-game interview.
So with the girls back in Arkansas, I had a chance to catch up on some reading. I promised you I'd share the books I read while they were away. Here they are:
Craig Bartholomew and Michael Goheen's The Drama of Scripture: Finding our Place in the Biblical Story. This book details the Bible as a narrative, a story that tells the redemptive work of God in the world. The drama is told in six acts: Creation, Israel, the Inter-testamental period, the mission of Jesus, the mission of the church, and the return of Jesus.
The overarching idea advanced in this Genesis to Revelation story is that God's originial intention in creation, marred by sin, is reborn in the redemptive work of Jesus at Calvary. Jesus came to earth, not simply as the Son of God but as a King to reestablish the kingdom of God. In Jesus, the kingdom breaks into the world and is advanced through the church, the agent of God to tell the redeeming story of God through Jesus Christ.
Kevin Starr's Coast of Dreams: California on the Edge, 1990-2003 is a 765-page look at the contemporary history of California. Starr tackles the tough issues of immigration and how California struggles to integrate such a vast, eclectic collection of ethnicities and cultures into one coherent whole. Starr's commentary, based on many facts from census data and news accounts, is an invaluable resource for anyone ministering in California as it gives great insight into the critical social and cultural issues facing a state as diverse as California.
Peter Schrag's California: America's High Stakes Experiment is another contemporary look into life in California. Like Starr, Schrag details the modern history of California and exposes the effects of immigration, globalization and technology on life in the state. Schrag, moreso than Starr, examines many of the political challenges and issues that have affected everyday life within California, touching on the school system, crime, and cost-of-living factors. Again, this book was invaluable in helping me gain insight into how and why life is as it is in the Golden State.