Book Notes by David Mays

“The megachurch is the dumbing down of American religion, epiphany lite, minister as personality, service as TV with musical interludes, cherry-picking of smug baby boomers, obsession on the ‘front door’ never minding the flood leaving the ‘back door,’ fair-weather churches feeding easy-to-digest junk food to the already overweight.”

From James B. Twitchhell, Branded Nation: The Marketing of Megachurch, College Inc., and Museumworld

The whole book summary is worth reading. Mays, a Protestant, protests at some characerizations of the author, and may well be right in some of them.

Cowper’s Works

“… his mind was like the coast of Holland, which requires the embankments to be constantly renewed to exclude the encroachments of the tide; and it is scarcely worth while, when so many causes were in operation, to ask which was the greatest.”

Written of William Cowper. The first part may be said of us all. The second, I pray, of none, though, sadly, must be said of many.

The boys arrived Saturday and we haven’t stopped since. I think Vicki made over 36 loaves of zucchini nut bread as presents for neighbors, neighborhood guards, friends, people at church. Yesterday we had 15 people at our house for lunch besides our family, several with no place to go for Christmas, our former preacher and family visiting, another family who live in São Paulo heading out for vacation. So we’ve been pretty busy. Maybe things will slow down a bit now.

Late Friday afternoon, I had a bout with my stomach. I’m lactose intolerant and can’t handle much meat either. Sometimes (though more rarely now, since I know what causes it), my body takes all it can handle and I get severe cramps, vomiting and diarrhea. I was waiting on Vicki to pick me up at the street when it hit me, just barely made back up to the office. Vicki couldn’t get me on the phone, so we were triangulating between her with cellphone in the car, Leila at home, and me trying to get to the phone at the office.

Finally, today I’m feeling more back to normal. I had to go light on food this weekend, unfortunately. So I just ate one helping of Mexican Chicken. OK, so my second piece was small. 🙂

I did miss visiting friends of ours who had a baby on Friday, so we visited the hospital Saturday night between supper and opening gifts.

Everybody’s torn up about Alexia’s cancer returning. We’re talking about trying to go see them. It’s a 4-5 hour trip from here. We worked with that family for ten years, they moved this year to his home town so he could get work. Pray, pray, pray.

Trying to get myself organized for this last week of 2005.

The guys arrived this morning, airport was fairly calm, Via Dutra was as well, considering the season. We’ve chatted this afternoon. Will have our Christmas meal tonight, make a quick visit to the hospital to visit some friends’ new baby, then open gifts.

Tomorrow, lunch here with some people who don’t have anywhere to go, then to church at Taubaté at 4 p.m. So it will be a busy day, as usual.

Merry Christmas, friends and family, and God’s most loving blessings upon you.


OK, it was Richard H. who sent me this picture with a suggestive sense to it. I never would have come up with this myself. He wrote, “Not quite sure what’s going on at the Woodbury church, but you can be assured it’s not happening at Eureka!” I suppose Eureka is where he worships. I refuse further comment, for risk of being indelicate.