CenTex is on ice.

Cold weather moved into Central Texas Wednesday evening. We knew the temperatures would dip. But we didn’t anticipate the amount of precipitation and sleet that would fall. Temperatures remained below freezing throughout the day on Thursday, even though they were expected to rise. That was bad news for administrators.

Public schools delayed their start, our area colleges and universities did too, and everyone crawled home late in the day along roads slick with ice. I taught my class from home. We have students who drive in from surrounding areas, and out of consideration for them, we decided early on to make the shift.

This week I’ve led a Truett Doctor of Ministry cohort in the observance of morning prayer. We’ve been meeting right around the corner from our place at First Baptist Church Woodway. Because of expected road conditions and plummeting temperatures, on Thursday morning we moved to Zoom. We were not sure everyone could make it safely up to the church.

I left my Bible in my truck the night before, so I went out to get it before we began. Part of our rhythm is to pray the Scriptures together. I drive a 2005 Chevy Silverado that has nearly 250,000 miles on it. When I went out on the drive, I found my truck frozen over.

Here’s a picture:

This photo was taken outside Dunn Auto, a local brake and tire place that I trust for my repairs. I had to take the truck in because something went wrong Thursday morning.

What happened? I’m glad you asked.

After two pulls on my door handle, this:

I couldn’t been mad. Instead, I laughed, then thought, “Hulk Smash.” I opened the passenger side and got what I needed. I was more careful on the passenger side. Then I proudly carried the door handle in and showed it to my family, to their amazement.

When I walked in to Dunn they said, “What can we do for you today?” Looking through the plexiglass divider at the office manager, I set the handle on the desk.

We expect more ice and snow over the weekend, and cold temperatures through at least Tuesday. Single digits are in the forecast for Monday, along with snow. We’ve stocked up on groceries. Molly stacked some firewood in our garage yesterday. I’m set up in my office to grade papers, record video content for my courses, and to write.

The weather slows us down, but it won’t stop us cold. We’ve got stuff to do.

Book Notes

I finished Donald Worster’s A Passion for Nature: The Life of John Muir. Rating? Three of five stars. Too hagiographic. Too thin on religious understanding (not only concerning Christianity, but also in regard to other spiritual traditions that were ascendant in Muir’s lifetime). A little too romantic. Muir is an important figure in American history who wrote beautifully about the natural world. But as a leading biography of the man, this book lacks in overall quality.

I finished a second book this week: John Goldingay’s The Theology of Jeremiah: The Book, the Man, The Message. I can’t say I’ll recommend it widely, but it does effectively communicate the main themes, historical setting, and theological considerations of Jeremiah in an accesible and conversational way.

I finished a third book this week: Jerry Seinfeld’s Is This Anything? It is a collection of Seinfeld bits organized by decade. My favorite bit was one on marriage. Here is why Seinfeld thinks marriage is such a good comedy premise.

And I finished a fourth book just last night: Tish Harrison Warren’s Prayer in the Night: For Those Who Work or Watch or Weep. Warren is an Anglican priest. She is insightful. She is a very good writer. And this is a very good book on a segment of prayer found in The Book of Common Prayer’s Order for Compline. I liked this book.

I’m about to begin James S. A. Corey’s Leviathan Wakes. If you’ve seen The Expanse on Amazon, this book is the basis for that series. I also plan to begin reading Will Mancini’s God Dreams: 12 Vision Templates for Finding and Focusing Your Church’s Future.

Sights and Sounds

February playlist is here on Tidal. Link is here on my blog; if you are a Spotify listener, you can navigate from there.

Last week I watched The Hunt. Wow. The filmmakers didn’t quite grasp or understand the film they were making while they were making it. They thought they were producing an Orwellian satire that would help both left-leaning elites and right-leaning populists in America see one another in a different light, as equally deluded and irrationally hateful toward one another (I watched the director’s commentary). Instead, they told an underdog tale. In those stories, you usually end up pulling for the underdog. This one is no exception.

I also watched Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris. I normally don’t watch romantic comedies. Not my style. But I decided to watch this movie after hearing it mentioned on a podcast. I loved it. And Molly watched it with me because I said, “Honey, I’m about to start watching a romantic comedy.” She said, “One moment!” Romantic comedies are her style.

Last Words

I shared a Calvin and Hobbes frame I put on my kids’ mirror, a prayer that factored in the life of Chris Farley, a funny ad from the New Zealand’s tourism office, and a few thoughts on the songs we sing and what they say.

Before I go, standard copy.

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Be well this week. Bless others.


P. S. - The photo below was taken on a nicer day. Our family did a tie-dye project.