A Good Thing

It is a good thing to give thanks to the LORD
and to sing praises to your name, O Most High;
To tell of your loving-kindness early in the morning...

Psalm 92.1-2

It's early. I've got some loving-kindness. So, being all psalmicky and such, I might as well tell of it.

I signed a book contract yesterday. Yep, I really did. My agent, JK, called and said it's ready to sign. I grabbed for my Montblanc fountain pen and then remembered I don't have such a thing, so I borrowed the assistant's blue Bic clicker, and I signed the solid line.

I had wondered what that moment would be like. Would Glen Campbell step out of the shadows and start singing Wichita Lineman? Would the earth cough up little hobbits who would come close and dither about my knees? Would the sky suddenly turn dusk and stay that way all day, making it the best day ever?

None of those things happened. I know, hard to believe. No, I signed the three copies of the contract, stood and shook JK's hand, stepped back out into the bright sunlight of a Colorado noon, and got in my '97 Dodge and drove back to work.

And the Wichita lineman, is still on the line.

The book? Oh, yes. Sorry. I wrote through Advent last year, some reflections on the readings in Luke's gospel. That's what it's gonna be; a Christmas book, small, filled with a few sketches by a good friend. Maybe, just maybe, it'll be something to help folks walk a little saner through the moments leading up the big day. I reread them not long ago and I'm proud of them, I really am.

Right now, things are set for a September '09 release, just in time for you to purchase multiple copies both for yourself and those you call friends. We've still got to decide on a front cover and someone all spanky to endorse it, maybe Glen Campbell. We'll have a little party here at The Shame when it releases; you know, Ritz crackers, summer sausage, fancy coffee, maybe even some Blue Bell ice cream. I'll let you know. Dress is always casual, so don't fret about getting stuff pressed.

This book deal is a loving-kindness from His infinitely tender hand and I'm grateful. Actually, I'm humbled. A fella by the name of Pierce Pettis wrote a song entitled God Believes in You:
When you start to doubt that you exist, God believes in you.
Confounded by the evidence, God believes in you.
When your light burns so dim, when your chances seem so slim
And you swear you don't believe in him, God believes in you
.

If you ever get the chance to see Pierce perform, carpe chancem. If you come away disappointed, I'll reimburse you for the ticket.

No, all this is humbling because it points to the presence of something that oftentimes lurks in the shadows: the thought that God believes in me. Some folks may think that bassackwards theology, but I don't. That thought makes me more grateful and these days, that's where I'm puttin' my money. If who or what you're holding to isn't making you a more grateful person with each passing day, then I say you've got a hole in your bucket, dear Liza, a hole.

Thanks for taking a few seconds to rejoice alongside him who rejoiceth. But, now it's up and back off down the main road, looking for another overload, a little bit surer I can hear Him singing in the wire, thru the whine -

And the Wichita lineman, is still on the line.

31 comments:

  1. John, I love you and am SO proud of you!

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  2. John-
    Great news! Can't wait to see the finished product. Congratulations on "inking" the first of many...
    Love you brother!

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  3. The Hobbitses are dancing in Seattle! Wootie Woo Hoo!

    I'll bring the squeezy cheese and the sparking apple cider!

    Sooo happy for you! And Advent? Dang!

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  4. WOW!!! I am SO excited for you, John! What a wonderful time for you...to sign that line, to see something actualized...

    We should all be so lucky!

    What a gift you've been given my friend, so glad to be a fan and can't wait to share it with family and friends.

    Oh and by the way, I LOVE summer sausage!!

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  5. Congratulations John! Bob and I are so happy for you and for your family. I hope you are celebrating...

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  6. Sorry - that was hannah on behalf of the parsons in that last comment...love you guys!

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  7. That hobbit line isn't a shot at my height is it? That's OK, I'm looking for my pair of Tony Lama's you promised me...guess I've got to wait a year. Proud to say I sat next to you at your first Pierce Pettis concert. Even prouder that I had the nerve to come up to you and thank you for your presence on the rooftop AT DUSK in Santa Fe. Our friendship has been just one blessing after another ever since that moment. Gotta go now and sew a few buttons back on my shirt. Love ya, man!

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  8. Congrats! Is it too early to pre-order an autographed copy?!

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  9. Excited for you and for us, your readers. Can't wait to see it!

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  10. congratulations john! what joy.

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  11. So so so excited for you! Well deserved Congrats!!

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  12. Congrats John! How exciting. I really love your writing. Earthy and real, yet with a little bit of fantastical to make a hobbit want to come and dance. Yea!

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  13. Congratulations John!!! Well deserved

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  14. My brother, even the three-legged gobbler at the bottom of the Grand is happy and my tears cometh at the news. truly a good thing.

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  15. Rejoicing with you!! Congrats! And so it begins...I'll throw in some bacon wrapped dates (with a hint of maple syrup added...) for the celebration!

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  16. ...and the Parker-man is still on the line with you!

    ...congratulations!!!

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  17. I'm so happy to hear this good news and look forward to getting the book! I'd like mine autographed, as well...

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  18. Congratulations!!!!! We are so excited for you!

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  19. How exciting! I'll be taking a couple of those little suckers off yoru hands!! Congratulations!

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  20. What VERY GOOD news!! I have been praying. And I am so proud of you! Wonderful! I cannot wait to get it, when it's out and one day tell our grandchildren. This family prayed for us during a huge time of need. Still so thankful for that!

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  21. Congratulations, John! I have always been a big fan ever since your "preacher days" in Arkadelphia. God definitely gave you a gift of putting words together and making them fly. I'm very excited for you guys.

    Ellen Cortez

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  22. WOO PIG SOOIE! We are so proud of you. Can't wait to order a signed copy or two.

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  23. WOO PIG SOOIE! We are so proud of you. Can't wait to order a signed copy or two.

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  24. Hi John, coming over from your wife's lovely blog to say Congratulations!
    God bless,
    Brenda :)

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  25. Yippee! Congratulations on your accomplishment! That is such great news - we're all so proud of you!

    Jennifer Baker

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  26. Congratulations, Juan. May God grant you many years to write many, many books. Can't wait to read it!

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  27. Congratulations! Very cool!

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  28. Mr. Shame,

    This is good news indeed. Thanks to you and your publishing prowess, I've got "Wichita Lineman" stuck in my head. I guess this means I need you more than want you. Hummmm.

    All of this is, pastorally speaking, of course.

    Bravo! Get that autograph hand limbered up. Those autograph parties can be such a hassle.

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  29. YIPPPEEE!

    You don't know me, but i am one of Mer's readers! I prayed for you and Mer some months back and am thrilled to get to share in your joy!

    Congratulations!

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  30. I love the word "dither." Made me laugh! Congrats on the book - always looking for ways to make the season more meaningful and real. Seriously, saw someone else wants an autographed copy. Me, too!

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