Government Keeping Us Safe

First, some definition and explanation:

1) The place where I work, where I keep my books, where my desk resides, is not an office. It is my study. A pastor should not occupy an office, a place of administrative duty. He should occupy a study. In his study, a place of study and prayer, he will when necessary carry on administrative duty. But the place should be named for its primary use.

2) I study for my sermons in my study, but I do not always WRITE them there. Over the years I have found it helpful to write my sermons in a public place forcing myself thereby to look at real people and imagine how I might say what I want to say to them. I like to think that his helps my communication.

3) Occasionally, I write my sermons, or at least bring them to final outline form, in a Starbucks or a Panera. The Starbucks is preferred for comfort (and manifestly interesting people!); the Panera for its free Wi-Fi.

I have therefore been waiting expectantly for the new Panera to open in Bradenton, located, ironically, directly across the street from the former location of HPC, a place that I began writing my sermons 20+ years ago. It was to open yesterday, April 11, but did not. Why? The county inspectors failed to give it a c/o. The dumpster enclosure, the manager tells me, had not been properly constructed, and was lacking doors and a hose fixture, violating the old public safety adage: “No dumpster doors, no restaurant.” I feel much better being here today, writing my sermon, knowing that the dumpster is safely contained behind doors.