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Last Week/This Week

Last week Grace and I enjoyed a magnificent week with Life in the Trinity Ministry, with whom I serve as Theologian in Residence and who is sponsoring my book tour (for my upcoming Jericho release) that starts September 11.

We gathered at Ghost Ranch, surely one of the most beautiful (and hospitable) places on the planet:
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I thought some folks would find a good use for the next photo. (McLaren as snake-handling preacher?) A friendly and harmless bull snake showed up twice at our meeting place (no doubt hoping to find a dropout from the barn swallow nest just outside the door):
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I gently escorted him to a field nearby so he could continue enjoying life as one of God's creatures (not to mention reducing the local rodent population).

The gentle reality of this creature's actual presence brought to mind the contrasting cover image from a book by one of my loyal critics that critiqued several of my friends and me with winsome sincerity and passion (and a liberal dose of inaccuracy to boot):
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Thanks to all who made the time in New Mexico such a joy. Our trip home was made dramatic by Tropical Storm Isaac, whose bluster was exaggerated here in Southwest Florida.

This week, I'll be recording a number of interviews relating to Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road? (We just learned the book will be featured on NPR's All Things Considered in September - which is thrilling to me because I'm a huge fan of the show.)

This coming weekend, I'll be at Wild Goose West in Oregon. I look forward to meeting many of you there. It's not too late to sign up!