I had to take a break from reading high-brow theology, so I grabbed this book from my list of books to read for a nice change. It was a delightful change. Actually, I picked this one up from Goodwill, which is a great place to buy books.
Philip Gulley is a Quaker Pastor with a fine sense of humor that he draws upon in this menagerie of true stories from his life. He grew up in the days where people actually sat on their front porches and conversed with each other. His stories reflect this fact.
Doctor Gibbs is the main character in his first story about a man who refuses to water his trees because he says that it causes the roots to grow shallow. He believed in putting his trees through adverse situations in order to toughen them up. He uses this as an example of life. Gulley says that instead of praying for his children to escape tough, trying times, he prays for well-developed, strong roots so that they will be able to weather the storms of life successfully.
His next story is about a bond that he made with a neighborhood widow when doing his paper route. She would have an ice cold coke waiting on him when he arrived to deliver her newspaper and he would drink it and nod as she shared stories with him on her front porch. The front porch stories were healing for her. The next time he saw her was at a church function, where she was serving dinner happily.
He adds scripture to some of the everyday stories to make a particular point. Sometimes, no scripture is needed. My favorite story is “Misery Turned to Joy”. It is a very humorous account of church rummage sales. Rather than to explain the humor or the story itself, I will leave it to the reader to get this book and read for one’s self.
This is a book about grace, love, family and friendships. All of this is wrapped up in simple, funny, poignant stories. Many times God shows up in the simplest of places. I think that Philip Gulley has found many of these places.
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copyright 2011 by Kathy Robbins