Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 52 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Monday, September 23, 2013

Joe's Gift - The Rector's Rambling for September 22, 2013

This week I had the chance to read a good book, and I want to recommend it to you for several reasons.
The primary reason is that it is a book that will challenge you to live your life as a Christian in a deeper way, the way of humility and love.  Any book that does this is certainly laudable.  Additionally, the book comes recommended because St. John’s is spoken well of in it, and your rector gets a mention too.
The book is Joe’s Gift, written by St. John’s very own Joseph Alff.  This is Joe’s second book, and is in some ways a sequel to, or perhaps an expansion on, his first book The Secret to Living a More Fulfilled Life.
In Joe’s first book he points out the hollowness of striving after what the church would call “The World” in trying to find happiness.  Instead, Joe offers that Contrition and Humility are the foundation on which a life of fulfillment is found.
In Joe’s Gift he begins by relating a story from college, when a friend said, “the problem with you is that everything you do is average”.  How, Joe has asked himself over the years, “how can I, or anyone for that matter, become extraordinary?”
Joe ponders his answer through the time honored method of storytelling and relating his experience with himself and with others in his 40 years in the mental health profession, as well as living his average, everyday, ordinary life.
I won’t give away the ending.  But let me say that this book can help you to evaluate how you live your own life, how you find meaning in it, and how you can apply a simple principle of saying and doing three words to make the ordinary life extraordinary and meaningful.
Every Sunday that I mention humility in a sermon I know that Joe will have something good to say about it (he is always very complementary, for which I am grateful).  I commend his book to you to aid in your spiritual journey.

This book is available from Amazon, or can be purchased at St. John’s in the undercroft or parish office.