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i love free stuff.

Since I've moved here I've been on the lookout for free stuff. This mainly comes in the form of finding things on the internet. Sometimes on a tight missionary budget, you have to look for deals, which often includes free stuff.

For awhile I was getting books from inbubblewrap, I've been looking for deals at jellyfish, and I play at tenhunt (if you want to sign up, let me refer you), but so far the favorite thing I've gotten for free off of the internet was won off of pomomusings, one of my favorite emergent blogs. He gives away books now and again, and I saw one that caught my eye and answered the question.

I received Divine Nobodies by Jim Palmer a few weeks later. It was ironic really. Christy had used an article during WOW the week before written by Palmer, and I thought to myself, I should get his book completely forgetting that I had indeed won it. It showed up the next week, and I was ecstatic to sit down and read it.

Though I don't agree with all of his theology (but then, when do I ever agree with all of anyone's theology), I think this book will have a profound impact on my life. People are saying that he is the next Don Miller, or the next Brian McLaren, but honestly, I liked his book in different ways than I liked theirs. I guess it is because of the importance that I put on relationships with other people. I see God most through those I interact with in really ordinary situations. I find God in the simplicity of interactions, of the smiles I get from the clerk in the checkout line, from the unlikely friends I've made here, from my families.

This book is filled with Palmer's interactions, and they touch my heart. With each one, I could relate it to someone I've come across in my life. This is the story of the book, finding the divine in the interactions with those every day people.

The book wasn't always an easy read. There were parts of it where I just had to put the book down and walk away, knowing that I had to face whatever it was that was there in front of me, but knowing that I could only take it one piece at a time. I found myself laughing, tearing up, feeling like I wanted to throw it, all sorts of emotions. For me, this is what I look for in a book. One that makes me really feel like I'm a part of it like I know everyone in it.

I think the best part of this book was his inscription to me. (The book came directly from Jim) It says, "Hope you enjoy it, Laura. May the truth set you free. Grace and peace, Jim Palmer" I did enjoy it, and the second piece hit me in a powerful time in my relationship with God. The truth for me in all this is that God has plans beyond anything I can comprehend, and that is ok. If you know me at all, you know there is this continual logical struggle that asks the questions that keep me from always giving everything I've got to God. This book came at the precise time that I needed to realize that it isn't me controlling all of this. The truth is setting me free. In any case, I give this book my stamp of approval.

I've got a busy week ahead, but once I'm back in my home state, I'll probably hit the whole writing thing a little harder. Or not. I'm sure I'll have interesting things to share about what my friends and I do in B-town, we always seek to entertain. That and I'm sure I'll have something to say about at least 1 of the 3 church services I attend next Sunday. (yes, i am overchurched, but I have my reasons)
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