It’s Out: Could this be God…

Posted by on Sep 30, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

This has been my publishing year – two books out within a few months of each other. My latest book Could this be God: Bumping into God in the Everyday has now been released and is available from all major suppliers and on Kindle. Here are some of the key links: A hard copy is currently cheapest at Book Depository – (A$14.03) and this includes free postage to anywhere in the world. If you prefer the electronic kindle version, Amazon is the best place to go – though Australian buyers are likely to be redirected to the Australian site.

So what’s the book about? It is different to my other books in that it consists of 90 short stand alone pieces – each of which can be read in a few minutes. It is meant to be quietly amusing, but also thought provoking, and the audience can be almost anyone, including people with little or no faith. In fact my real hope is that it will help to soften people up in their thinking about God and make them a little more open to the possibility of embracing the Christian faith… so in its own way it is intended as a gentle form of evangelism, while also providing encouragement to those who already believe. The style is popular (rather than academic) – and intentionally so. It is meant for the widest possible audience. And the price is cheap… OK – I try not to do the hard sell, but I am kind of hoping that many people will view it as a great (and cheap) gift to give to someone – or even to use as a supplement to a gift. And I think it can be given to people who claim no faith or once were Christians but are no longer… well, I hope so. Many of the pieces would also work well on their own to help fill a church newsletter, and provided the source is acknowledged, that is fine. And yes, it would also work to leave it by the toilet for reading whilst there.

Here is one of the 90 pieces from the book (and incidentally, each started as the monthly column I write for Perth’s Advocate newspaper. The publisher (BRF – from the UK) spotted them, and said they thought it would work well as a compilation – so it was their idea as much as mine. The piece I have included is (drum roll at this point…)

On Googling yourself

Recently I decided to check if I am famous, and so conducted a Google search with my name. Imagine my excitement when it returned 563000 hits. I really had no idea I was so well known. I even discovered things about myself that I hadn’t been informed of.

Apparently Brian Harris is a Welsh poet, a famous photographer and a member of Everton’s FA cup final team of 1966. Actually, the Everton Brian Harris died recently (aged 72). It was a little sobering to read obituaries bearing my name! And then I discovered that I used to play for the Western Bulldogs, but a few months ago changed my name from Brian Harris to Brian Lake (so what’s he got against me?) And yes, amongst the 563000 Brian Harris hits (no, I didn’t check them all) were some for a Brian Harris who is the principal of Vose Seminary. By the time I found those, I felt a little deflated—reduced from poet, photographer and sports star to a mere principal.

It set me thinking about the other Brian Harris’—all 562999 of them. I know my name is written in the Lamb’s book of life, but when it’s called out, will the 563000 of us all try to make a dash for glory? Will I be able to establish my credentials or should I add a few exotic middle names to eliminate confusion?

Shakespeare asked what’s in a name, following on with the shrewd observation that a rose by any other name is still as sweet. So maybe my Google search was an exercise in futility. Or was it?

It made me think of the parallel universes in which we live. People bearing the same name as I wake each day, work each day, worry each day—and I know nothing about them.

So what makes each of us unique? Clearly not our name. Then how does God keep track of us? Does he have a special code where I am Brian Harris number 437342. I suspect not. A psalmist named David (and you can just imagine how many David’s there are!) informs that each of us is fearfully and wonderfully made. And he adds the liberating thought that we’re fully known to the one who made us. As someone has said of the countless millions whom we do not know, they are ‘unknown to us, but known to God’.

So to the 562999 Brian Harris’ whom I do not know I say simply, Brian, you’re unknown to me, but known to God. And I hope you know, or will come to know, his love and blessing.

Oh, and lest you get confused, I’m not the Brian Harris who was in the recent drug bust. But if you’d like to mistake me for the Brian Harris who is the famous baseball player, that’s fine by me…

As always, nice chatting

PS, if you are interested in the other book I put out recently, it is When Faith Turns Ugly: Understanding Toxic Faith and How to Avoid It, and you can also buy it cheaply at Book Depository or a Kindle copy at Amazon….

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