by Barbara Gohl

God’s Blogs: Insights from His Site
Author: Larry Donoho
Multnomah, 2005
Review by Debbonnaire Kovacs
 
         Some of my best finds are at garage sales and thrift stores, and this book is no exception. Speaking as an author, I find it depressing when great books end up in places like these; however, it does give more people a chance to benefit from the author’s work. In the case of God’s Blogs, the benefit is enormous; at least it is for me. It seems (from some back matter and ads) that the book is mostly meant for youth and/or young adults, but I’ve read the book through three times so far and sometimes dig into it in bits, looking for something to cheer me up, or for comfort for some spot I’m in.
 
         First of all, it’s important to point out that on the front cover, up in the left-hand corner (at least of my paperback version), is the essential word, “imagine. . .” Some people might have a hard time with the idea of an author, especially a humorous one, being audacious enough to claim to speak for God. In his “Non-disclaimer,” Donoho acknowledges this fact and says, “Everybody has their ideas of what God might want to say to them. These are mine.” (All emphasis in this review is found in the original. Donoho makes good use of emphasis, from italics, bold, and underlining to different fonts and sizes, not to mention added jots, notes, squiggles, and artwork.)
 
         A few pages later, in “the blog before the blogs,” Donoho puts these words into God’s mouth: “I’ll use a human to write these. Of course, using a human means he might misinterpret some of My thoughts or use some of his own to say what he thinks I AM thinking, but it’ll be a fun thing watching people read and respond.”
 
          But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Every page of this book is fun, even the copyright page. It says things like “Author created by God with help from Orville and Clara Donoho in 1953,” and “ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. ALL WRONGS FORGIVEN.”
 
          The ”blog profile page” continues the quirky but insightful thoughts. Donoho has God list “Things I created that I really like: wind, smiles, water, light” and lots more, then adds, “Oh. . . and I really like how I made you. You are different and wonderfully unique, and I created you that way in your mother’s belly. I consider each of you My masterpiece.”
 
          There are several pages of this sort of thing, evoking both laughter and thoughtfulness, before we arrive at the contents page, and Donoho has made even that interesting. It looks like one of little Billy’s meandering adventures in the Family Circle ® cartoons, with “You are Here” and “If you make it to here, call someone and tell ‘em to go buy this book,” and other little oddities, along with a map reminiscent of the wilderness wanderings of the Israelites, or possibly of an old fantasy novel.
 
         All this before even entering the Blogs proper. Quite simply, in my opinion they are amazing. There are some that are meant purely for fun, such as ones on Bubbles or Snow, intended to remind us that God created variety because God likes variety.

          Even the just-for-fun blogs usually contain some important insight, and many entries deal with more serious territory, such as death, creation, and evil. Here are two representative quotes:
 

“No Ordinary People
 “I made everyone.
“And“
I love every single individual, eccentric, weird, selfish, greedy, loving, lying, wonderful, selfless, pushy, manipulative, wining,
bragging, talented, lazy, serving, rich, poor, homeless, sick, influential, last one of you.
“I love them all so much that I sent My Son to die for each one of them.
 
“Do you get this?”
 
“Forgiveness:
“You need to see those who annoy you, who mistreat you, who get on your nerves. . .as My children.
          “Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want you to be mistreated or hurt, nor do I want you to stay near those who might be putting you in danger. Lots of My kids need help, but they are still My children.

          “Together we will hate what they do to you. I will hold on to you during those times they treat you poorly, and I will listen as you talk to Me or pray to Me for them (your abusers. . .My children) and we will both love them. . .

“And it will be hard. . .”

 

The book is also scattered with short entries Donoho calls “blogjots.” Here is one:

 

“Someone is needing
encouragements and apologies
needing them like air and water.
 
Close this book and call a friend.”

 

          There are a few entries I have permanently dog-eared so I can find them when I need them. I’ll close with one of my favorites—a complete entry, called “Bubbles Too.”Notice that the date is three years after the book’s publication date. Donoho makes several references throughout to the fact that God is outside of time and can see all times at once, so the dates “might throw some of you off balance.”

 
         “April 12, 2007
 
         “Bubbles are thin layers of film made of liquid and soap that hold pockets of air. All the air inside the bubble is separated from all the rest of the air outside the film. Most of you know all that. As I mentioned in a previous post, it’s pretty natural to want to burst a bubble when you see it.
         “There is one that I would like to burst. I have a strong desire for My children, the ones who love Me and claim Me as their father, to be who I made them to be and to relate well in a culture that doesn’t yet know Me.
         “Some, however; have chosen to build a wall or a bubble around themselves to keep them away from the culture. [There is a graphic here of a person floating in a bubble.] They focus inward and tragically don’t want outsiders in there with them. It seems kinda silly to Me when I see anger and rejection flare up inside your bubble because some of your artists decide to perform or write for the folks outside of your bubble.

“Here is a thought. . .

         “Artists who are Christians have a better shot at changing the world than ‘Christian artists.’
         “You now have your own Christian stores and books and singers and mints. You have created your own clothing and music and lingo, and you have isolated the rest of the world.
         “You have built a bubble around yourselves and used insider thoughts to try to influence outsiders. . .and they aren’t getting it. As a matter of fact, they see your bubble and your actions inside that bubble and they hear your words and they are choosing to not get in there with you. And that is a wise choice. I didn’t send My Son to die so you could form a club and dance at your own recital. I did it so all people could see Me and experience Me and understand forgiveness and grace and mercy and love, and so everyone would dance at My recital. . .and so I could dance at everyone else’s.
         “The world has become dark, and bubbles can’t be seen in the dark. Sometimes I want to take a God-sized pin and burst your bubbles
 

“and hand you all a light instead.”