Library Philistine

I’ve been a library philistine most of my life. While I would check out books from our school library in elementary and middle school, in high school I barely checked out any books. Why? Because my family generally has the attitude, “If it is good enough to read it is good enough to buy.” We didn’t have many luxury items in our family (including Grandma and Grandpa). We never had cable or satalite TV, never had a big TV, and I only had a game boy with a few games. But what we did have was books. They were the most common gift in our family. I am so thankful that all my family instilled in me a love of reading and of books in general.

In college my library usage wasn’t the best either, although in a more academic setting it did become necessary. Pleasure reading took a big hit during my college years so I didn’t accumulate many more books to read in that area.

When I hit the seminary I started working in the library. One advantage of working in the back of the library was that I was exposed to nearly all of the new books that were added to our library’s collection. I have a list of well over 50 books that I would like to read just from our CSL Library. One downside to working in an academic library is that you turn into a bit of a library snob. I would go with my wife to the local public library branch and would practically have a fit trying to find stuff. Haven’t these people heard of shelf reading?? And don’t even get me started on the dewey decimal system.

Now on vicarage things have taken a turn. I have plenty of theology books to read. My pile is ever growing. At the same time, the number of “Pleasure Reading” books that I have to read has dwindled. What to do? Buy more? Soon after we arrived we ventured out to the Mead Public Library in Sheboygan to check things out. What a great library! This library has a very large collection and is well organized. We’ve started checking out movies from there and Lisa and I have both started checking out books. I’ve found some great history books to read. I’ve actually got another list started of books from the Mead library to read.

In short, I’m trying to amend my philistine ways. I’m checking out more books and only buying books that I’d like to add to our permanent collection in the Powell household. Hopefully my progress will continue.

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First Icon: Christ the Just Judge

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As a gift for my vicarage I received my first icon (actually a gift certificate that allowed me to purchase my first icon). I purchased the “Christ the Just Judge” icon that is pictured with this post. It hangs on my office wall.

It truly is beautiful and full of symbolism. Of course Christ is depicted at the center. Mark is in the bottom left depicted as a Lion. In the upper left corner a “living creature with the face of a man.” In the upper right is John as an eagle. In the bottom right is Luke as an ox. It is quite common in Christian tradition to connect the four evangelists to the four living creatures spoke of in the book of Revelation, “And around the throne, on each side of the throne, are four living creatures, full of eyes in front and behind: the first living creature like a lion, the second living creature like an ox, the third living creature with the face of a man, and the fourth living creature like an eagle in flight” (4:7). 

This gift has now got me hooked on icons. Go to Archangel Books in Maplewood (south of the Sem) to find a wonderful sampling of icons (and even more on the web).

Vicarage!

It is official. I have my vicarage assignment!

Lisa and I are heading to Trinity Lutheran Church, Howards Grove, Wisconsin. More later. We are incredibly excited about what awaits us when we move next month.