Wednesday, June 01, 2011

"The kindness of strangers"

The title is a quotation from a play/movie that I (A) have never seen (B) nor wanted to see, but it totally fits.

This morning I sent off the endorsements I've received for God's Wisdom in Proverbs. Virtually everybody who agreed to read the manuscript for endorsement came through for me, which is amazing and wonderful all by itself.

But wait! It gets better!

Of these eleven busy, important men, I have only met two in the flesh. I have spoken over internet-phone to one other of them. That means that virtually all of them are virtual strangers to me or, more to the point, I to them.

Yet these busy, important men took the time to read and endorse this magnum opus of mine. How "magnum" is it, you ask? One of the men remarked, not untruthfully, that he had to clear a forest to print it out. That's because it's about forty-seven thousand pages long... or must have seemed it to the dedicated souls who made their way through it in such short order.

The array of men who took the time to do me this gracious favor is staggering and humbling. They include men whose writing or preaching has been a great profit to me, and to many. They're all busy men.

And me? I'm nobody! Worse, I'm — and please, make sure you're comfortably seated, with no sharp objects or hot liquids in hand — not universally loved. There are people who hate me, and not all completely "without cause."

Yet these gracious souls took the time to read and help me out in this one of two nearly-simultaneous publishing endeavors.

Now, in the course of all this, there were of course men who had to decline, due to their having overfull plates. I was just grateful that they took the time to respond. Nobody owed me anything.

Add to that the folks who previously contributed their endorsements for The World-Tilting Gospel.  Again, they're busy (many of them manically busy) folks, many with international ministries, yet they did me this grace.

John Piper inveighs against the "debtor's ethic" in Future Grace, a book that did me a world of good. He says that it is un-biblical to motivate service for God out of gratitude, or because we're indebted; we should do it out of faith. Regardless of whether Piper's right about God, I surely see myself as indebted to these men (and one woman).

I just pray earnestly that God uses the books to His glory and His people's good... and that these dear souls never regret the terrific help and blessing they've been to me.

21 comments:

Kyle said...

Give me a real number... how big is it??

DJP said...

Over 460 pgs in MS Word, 1.5-spaced.

Packed full o' Bibley goodness, of course. Well, to the best of my ability.

Tom said...

gee whiz... i didn't even know Word could open 460-page documents.

i'm looking for to this one.

DJP said...

Well Tom, I may not tell you everything you need to know... but I tell you just about everything I know!

(c:

Herding Grasshoppers said...

Whooo-eeee!

Cracking up at comfortably seated, with no sharp objects or hot liquids in hand...

Sort of Luke 4:24-ish?

Stefan said...

"Not universally loved."

Whoa, just stop the presses right there!

Thanks be to the Author of all providence that your endeavours are going well.

Rhology said...

I don't love you in every possible universe.

DJP said...

And that's only fair.

Mike Westfall said...

Rhology cracks me up.

JackW said...

Oh my, a bunch of pithy verses expanded to 460 pages. You see, Proverbs is one of my least favorite books and I’m counting on this book to correct that little deficiency in me. Better be a Kindle edition so I don’t have to even think about the page count!

DJP said...

Wow... it's not even out, and already my first negative review!

:^P

JackW said...

More like a negative reviewer. I'm sure you'll change my mind.


... and the new one will work better.

I'm looking forward to it like a trip to the Dentist.

Scooter said...

I'm glad I put down that lava lamp and poodle I was juggling. Now how to get the poodle out of the lava lamp.

Rhology makes a good point. If Dan was a lion and Rhology was a zebra, it would be hard to remain friends. Unless it was an animated universe...

In all seriousness, what kind of book do you want this to be Dan? A layman's guide to Proverbs, or more of a pastor's resource, or some kind of eclectic middle ground?

Susan said...

I'm looking forward to this magnum opus of yours, Dan. Proverbs is a wonderful book. In my more "charismatic" and barely believing days (college), I once indirectly heard a preacher's claim to the effect of the Bible having the answer to every human problem (or maybe something like it'll answer every human question). Well, some time after hearing that, my dormitory's residence director and some students were praying out loud on a school field near our dorm very early in the morning. Later some neighbors had complained about the loudness and my RD was bewildered (she attended and served at a charismatic church). Well, imagine my surprise and excitement when I came to Proverbs 27:14 short afterward (and yes, I used the NIV in those days):

"If anyone loudly blesses their neighbor early in the morning,it will be taken as a curse."

Imagine how my RD's eyes widened when I shared this verse with her!

DJP said...

What would you guess, Scooter?

(c;

Rachael Starke said...

Well, JackW, if it makes you feel any better, I'm a little nervous about reading it too. I'm on record with Dan about my historical, erm, issyeews, with one chapter in Proverbs. The last one, to be precise.

Which is why I was hoping for a much, much longer book.The longer the book, the longer it takes to get to the last chapter, and the longer the Novocaine has to kick in. ;)

DJP said...

Hey! it's me!

Merrilee Stevenson said...

JackW, I've been to the dentist. Trust me when I say this, Dan's book will not only be a better experience, but you'll be able to go back again and again and benefit from it. It pained me to read that Proverbs is one of your least favorite books, but also that you consider that a small deficiency in you. I hope you have what it takes to soldier through the page count; I'm confident it will be well worth it. I'm looking forward to getting my hands on a (signed) copy and becoming a more serious student of one of my favorite books of the Bible. (o:

(I'm sure the signature will make all the difference...)

Al said...

Did you try to resubmit it to Harold Camping? He has more time than he thought he did at the beginning of last month...

al sends

JackW said...

Wow, thanks guys for the sisterly love … it’s almost church like here.

Rachael, fear not, I have it on good authority that the first will be last and the last will be running the kingdom.

Merrilee, I’m guessing there will be more than a signature in that much cherished copy of Dan’s book and I can’t wait to see how he figures out how to get his signature onto my Kindle edition.

Merrilee Stevenson said...

Brilliant idea, Jack! If it's marketable, Kindle could use it as a "cut above" kind of technology. Wouldn't that be cool? I still prefer hard copies that I can read with pencil in hand.

You are a good sport, brother.