Wit, wisdom, and hope from the minister in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Product Code: 3842
ISBN: 9781558965096
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Skinner House
Pages: 120
Size: 7 x 5
Published Date: 09/22/2006
Availability:In stock
Price: $12.00

From this widely popular writer and songwriter comes another wonderful collection of nearly forty essays filled with humor, sharp wit, optimism and wisdom. Combining personal experience with the professional insights of a minister and therapist, Barnhouse beckons us to let go of regrets and worries about the future and, instead, surrender to life. “It doesn’t look very cool. But sometimes sitting down is the only clear thing to do. A wonderful mentor used to say: ‘Don’t just do something, stand there.’” Barnhouse’s empowering faith in family, friends and one’s self is what we need to weather life’s struggles. Includes a foreword by Pat Jobe, author of 365 Ways to Criticize the Preacher.

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Foreword by Pat Jobe

The Stretcher and the Swan

Waist-Deep in the Lake

Speaking to the Locks

Other People’s Things

Paddling, No Water

Goat in the Pickup

The Greening Breath

Centers of the Universe

Brick by Brick


Dumpster Pumpkins

Disaster Season

A Walk in Winter

Bread, Not Stone

If I Were the Devil


Good Fortunes

Fighting Clutter

Floor It, Baby

A Different Garden

Peter and the Beanstalk

Peggy in Port Arthur

Laughing It Off?

Singing the Soup


A Pirate Is a Rabbi


Revlon, Max Factor, Neutrogena, Maybelline


Straight Through the Heart

That’s the Job

Seagal Therapy

Sparklers on the Deck


Watery Wedding

Life Without Meryl

The Green After

The place where my writer friends regularly meet for coffee in the morning always closes for the week of July Fourth. The whole South goes on vacation. Industry shuts down. If you are not at Myrtle Beach eating fried popcorn shrimp at an all-you-can-eat buffet or playing putt-putt, you are so far out of the mainstream that you have to hunker down, fighting to keep whatever semblance of routine you can scrape together. The writers made an alternative plan for morning coffee and conversation, sitting hungrily around tables in a new place where they don’t have food until lunch time. We call the regular coffee shop “The Center of the Universe.” We didn’t choose this name out of arrogance. The coffee shop is, for us, the vortex of conversation and friendship. I don’t think we will call this alternate place “The Center of the Universe” as if the center moves with us. It doesn’t. The other place has too much history, too many tears, jokes, angry exchanges later forgiven, loving support given with the lightest touch.

We know, of course, that it is not the center of the universe for anyone else. It seems obvious to me that the Universe has many centers. I’m not sure how that would make sense in the world of physics, although I bet it could. I know how it makes sense in the world of thought and feeling. You get attached to a place. Even when the new owners put a giant and noisy ice maker right beside the tables where we usually gather, it took us months to come up with the idea of moving to a different set of tables further from the grinding and clunking.

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