Berryman, Death. Saved. Branch Davidian

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Some random thoughts on the fly, because I am on a deadline with other stuff today.

This weekend I finally read Jeff Berryman’s “Leaving Ruin” and I am urging everybody to read it. In my dark distant past I pastored a church straight out of seminary. It was the most enriching, rewarding and life-threatening experience of my life. Berryman captures all that in more in this tale of a pastor with a rich inner life and a tad too much honestly, who is about to be voted out of his church. Read it and weep.

Some of my most meaningful experiences as a pastor were the funerals I performed and the haunting conversations with the near dying. A journalist talks about her brother’s vivid imagination of travels while in critical care.

Some of my worst memories of church staff were the hypocrisies of fundamentalism, which depending on whom you talk to, are accurately portrayed or sinisterly displayed in “Saved.”

Congrats to Dr. Timothy Johnson, whose “Finding God in the Questions” hit the NYT best-seller list.

Finally, my fascination with everything Palahniuk continues after reading a review of Stranger than Fiction observing the ¢â‚¬Ëœenduring charm of freaky violence.” Chuck burst on the scene with “Fight Club” and in my interviews with him I’ve always found him an authentic observer of the whacky and weird.

Though he doesn’t cover it in his book, the story of some remaining Branch Davidian cult members qualify as truth stranger than fiction AND raise interesting questions about the nature of faith.

Yours for the pursuit of God in the company of friends, Dick Staub.

PS. And remember, “these are the best of times and the worst of times, but they are the only times we have.” (For Now).

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