Month: March 2013

God Behaving Badly on Kindle only $2.99 this week

God_Behaving_Badly_CoverIf you haven’t bought God Behaving Badly for your Kindle, iPad or other electronic device, IVP/Amazon are offering a special price until Easter, only $2.99.  (You don’t need to own a Kindle to purchase it in the Kindle format.  Just download a Kindle app.)

Click here to check it out.

Normally, the electronic price hovers around $10.  The paperback price is $10.20 right now.

$2.99— that’s cheaper than a gallon of gas (OK, so gas doesn’t really feel cheap anymore), that’s cheaper than popcorn at a movie, that’s cheaper a latte grande (I’ve never had one, but I’ve heard of them), that’s cheaper…oh, you get the point.  $2.99 is pretty cheap.

I guess the idea is that right before Easter, you feel guilty about Jesus dying on the cross for your sins, so you are more likely to attend church and buy religious books.  (I feel guilty about Jesus dying for my sins year-round.)  That’s why there’s more Bible on TV these days.  (In my next blog post, I’ll tell you about a TV documentary I’ll be appearing in later this week.)

Gospel Ebooks lists other IVP books being sold for a serious discount this week.  Click here to see the list.

Do you know anyone who struggles to understand God’s troubling behavior in the Old Testament?  (Do you know anyone who doesn’t?)

Now might be the time to let them know about a certain book special.

Tell your friends.  Spread the word.

Noah’s Universe

Noah's UniverseMy son Noah (15) loves Astronomy.  Here is his first blog a post about the universe on his friend EJ’s website.

He wants to be an Astrophysicist like his grandfather, and he has inherited his grandfather’s ability to explain complex ideas in simple language.

Unfortunately, Christians often don’t know how to communicate the complex truths about God, his word and his world in simple language that people can understand.

If a 15 year-old can explain clearly about Dark Matter, shouldn’t we be able to re-tell the Story of the Bible without using 5-syllable words?

I was there for the madness

At 9:30 yesterday (March 22) I received the email.  I had just finish reading the Bible and praying.  Was there a connection?

The email said two tickets were available for March Madness (for my foreign readers and non-sports enthusiasts, that’s the college basketball tournament) that evening in Philadelphia.  I wasn’t particularly interested in the two games.  The first game was a #15 seed vs. a #2 seed and the second game was a #7 seed vs. a #10 seed.  I thought, the 1st game will be a blow out, but the 2nd game should be exciting.

Sherwood Brown FGCU

I got the tickets, and text-ed my son Nate at school, “Interested in going to the Madness tonight?”  I’m not on a text plan (that text cost me 25 cents), and I have an old dumb phone where you have to hit the “7” button four times to get an “S” to appear in your text.  I don’t send a lot of texts.  Nate knew something was up.  (I almost extracted Nate from school, but then he would have been disqualified for the National Academic Decathlon competition that he and his HS team will participate in next month.)

We would be close to the Madness, sitting in the front row in the lower corner section (the person I was getting the tickets from had connections).

Of the four schools playing I knew something about three of them.

The late game: San Diego State (#7) vs. Oklahoma (#10).  I attended a  national youth conference in high school with my church (Evangelical Free Church) at SDSU, which ironically had a reputation as a party school.  SDSU was a beautiful campus near the beach.  Growing up in Ames, IA I secretly thought that going to Oklahoma for college would be more than OK because the Sooners always crushed the Iowa State in football.  (The Cyclones crushed the Fighting Irish last night, which I picked.)

Eddie Murray FGCUThe early game: Georgetown (#2) vs. Florida Gulf Coast (#15).  I knew that Georgetown was a great school with a great basketball team, but I had never heard of Florida Gulf Coast.  The reason I hadn’t heard of them is that the school was a virtual whippersnapper in the college world.  It’s first alumni didn’t graduate until 1997 (only 16 years ago).

The game would feature a teen-aged David (FGCU) vs. the Giant Goliath Georgetown.

I said to the folks sitting next to me, “This game will be a blowout.”  Yes, a blowout of sorts.  They won by 10 (78-68), but were ahead by a lot more in the 2nd half.  They, being “David” aka, Florida Gulf Coast.  I know Harvard beating New Mexico was huge (#14 over #3), but this was bigger.

FGCU was the most exciting basketball team I’ve ever seen.  Check out these slams.  

Afterwords, I shook the hands and congratulated two of the stars: Sherwood Brown (24 points, 9 rebounds and dreadlocks) and Eddie Murray (9 points, most of these were on 3 monster slams).

After I told him I was there for “The Play”- Stanford vs. Berkeley (1982) and “The Final” – Federer vs. Nadal at Wimbledon (2008), my friend John Franke started calling me Forest Gump.

So, next time you have extra tickets to a sporting event and you want it to be memorable, who are you going to call?

White Smoke: Pope Francis I

Saint_Francis_of_Assisi_by_Jusepe_de_RiberaThe Catholic Church selected the new Pope, Francis I.  He’s the first non-European pope.  He’s from Argentina (but his parents are Italian).  Pre-pope name: Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio.

I know everyone is asking,

Why did it take so long to select an non-European pope?”

It took over 2000 years (although, Peter, the first “pope,” wasn’t European).

Yes, that’s a great question, but let’s applaud this bold move outside of “The Continent.”

My question is,


“Why did it take so long for a pope to take the name of Francis?”

The new pope is named after one of my heroes of faith, Francis of Assisi (1181-1226).  (See God Behaving Badly, pages 91-92).  Francis valued a simple lifestyle (see image), a focus on Jesus and a connection to God through creation that the Church could learn a lot from today.

I don’t know much about Pope Francis I (he’s 76- so he may not be around long), but I really like his choice of a name.

What do you think of the new Pope?