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Local author writes history of early Christianity

If you are interested in Christianity and enjoy history, a new book called “God-Consciousness and the Beginning and Spread of Christianity” by local author Fred Rose will be a great read for you.

This book investigates the phenomenon of Christianity from historical, human and spiritual perspectives. The author documents the phenomenal growth of Christianity in its first 300 years — from the time that St. Paul was martyred, AD 62, to Constantine’s edict of AD 325, which named Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire.

As the book progresses, Fred explores the arguments for and against the existence of God, the cultural and political environment in the Eastern Mediterranean in Jesus’ time, the development of the Bible as we know it today, the teachings of Jesus as detailed in the writings of St. Paul and St. John, the challenges facing the early Christian Church, the apostles and missionaries responsible for the spread of Christianity, and the disagreements that faced the church during its first three centuries.

The author admits that he has a special affinity for St. John because he attended St. John’s Lutheran Church and School in LaGrange, Illinois. As a result, he spends several sections on the life and teachings of St. John – an emphasis that pleased this reviewer because I have visited Ephesus where St. John lived for 30 years and also spent time in the cave on the island of Patmos 50 miles away where he lived in exile and wrote Revelations.

There are a number of interesting observations throughout the book, including the assertion that the Sermon on the Mount was not just one sermon but more likely a collection of several; the statement that reports of Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem was one of the few times the four Gospel writers agree on an event in Jesus’ life, and the belief that Venus probable was the Star of the East that guided the wise men to the baby Jesus.

After serving in the Air Force during the Korean War, Fred became active as a volunteer lobbying for people with disabilities, and served on President Reagan’s Committee on Mental Retardation. He also traveled widely in the west, discovering Pagosa Springs. He brought Jo, his wife of 53 years, to see our community, and even though her first visit was in mud season, she fell in love with Pagosa. They bought a condo in 1989, bringing the family for summer vacations, and then moved here full-time from South Florida in 1995.

Over the years, Fred has amassed an impressive personal library of books on religion. Regardless, he says he was very grateful and impressed to find the wide selection of religious books available to patrons in the Sisson Library. His book is now available at the library for your reading pleasure.

Lifelong Learning

There are two more Lifelong Learning lectures in our highly popular, free, spring Lifelong Learning lecture series:

• This evening (Thursday, May 17) brings us “Ghost Ranch in New Mexico: A Sacred Sense of Place” from 6–7:15 p.m. by Dr. Andrew Gulliford, professor of history and environmental studies at Fort Lewis College, and Debra M. Hepler, executive director of Ghost Ranch. He will talk about the history of Ghost Ranch through slides, while she will speak about the present and future of this unique place.

• Eight men and women gathered back in 1995 to exchange stories of their early lives in Pagosa as pioneers and homesteaders. The result is a two-hour documentary DVD called “An Afternoon with the Natives” that will be shown on Thursday, May 31 from 4 – 7 p.m. along with a Q and A session.

Free technology programs

• Tech Tuesday is 10 a.m.-noon May 22, and 3-5 p.m. May 29.

• Power Point 2010 Basics will be taught tomorrow (May 18) from 10 a.m.-noon.

• Uploading and Organizing Digital Photos will be taught May 24 from 10 a.m.-noon.

Free adult film

We’ll show one more film this month in our Classic Hollywood Film series at 1 p.m. Fridays. The silent movie “The General” with Buster Keaton will be May 25.

E-books

If you are not aware of how to access the free e-book opportunities available for our patrons through your library, please go to http://pagosa.colibraries.org/technology or you can pick up a paper copy at the library.

Gardening

“The Complete Guide to Saving Seeds” by Robert Gough and Cheryl Moore-Gough guides you in all the seed-saving techniques specific to 322 plants.

“The Beginner’s Guide to Growing Heirloom Vegetables” by Marie Iannotti offers instructions for the 100 easiest-to-grow and tastiest vegetables for your garden.

Memoirs and biographies

“Before They’re Gone” by Michael Lanza chronicles a father’s quest to explore America’s most endangered national parks with his two young children.

“Revolution 2.0” by Wael Ghonim explores the Egyptian uprising from the viewpoint of the 30-year-old man who created an anonymous Facebook page that brought social media into this historic event.

“Soldier Dogs” by Maria Goodavage is a heartwarming account lf the dogs who play an increasingly vital role in our military efforts and the extraordinary bonds between military dogs and their handlers.

Mysteries and thrillers

“Walking into the Ocean” by David Whellams is the latest in the mystery series featuring Peter Cammon of Scotland Yard. “Come Home” by Lisa Scottoline is a thriller about a mother who sacrifices her future for a child from her past.

“Missing Child” by Patricia MacDonald follows the disappearance of a 6-year-old stepson that threatens to unveil past secrets. “A Teeny Bit of Trouble” by Michael Lee West is the second in the murder mystery series featuring Charleston pastry chef Teeny Templeton.

Thanks to our donors

For their generosity, we thank Lynn Constan for her donation in memory of Margaret Wilson, as well as Frank and Cynthia Nichols for theirs in memory of Kent Davis. We also thank Kerry Dermody for “Remembering Jerry Dermody with a Grin,” a copy of “The 50 Funniest American Writers,” and for her donation of other materials in honor of Lenore Bright, Jackie Welch and Dave Krueger. For other books and materials this week, we thank Tommy Nell.

Special thanks to Ray and Sue Diffee for their donation of beautiful bookmarks. When Ray retired, he took up watercolor painting. Sue took pictures of the paintings and made greeting cards of them, always inserting a hand-made bookmark with the card. Sue very generously donated some of these bookmarks to the library. Please pick one up at the circulation desk.

Quotable quote

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” — Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965), British politician and statesman, and World War II leader.

Website

For more information on library books, services and programs — and to reserve books from the comfort of your home — visit our website at http://pagosa.colibraries.org/.

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