Friday, December 26, 2008

Frank's Triumphant Christmas Story

Hello All,

My love affair with the Greek language began in the third office of the New Building at The Packinghouse, with my personal Professor, Pastor Dick Sanner. He told me that he would teach me enough Greek to be able to use the tools that were available to students and Pastors today. He introduced me to my first interlinear and then, my first lexicon. It was a whole new world for me.

Then, as he noted my enthusiasm, he told me of the mythical beast that would fulfill his promise to me and prove my sincerity and investment in what he had taught me. He told me of a set of books called the "Theological Dictionary Of The New Testament." I sat in rapt attention, eyes wide with unbridled passion to claim this, that hour if necessary! He explained that it was the most serious work of it's time, carefully explaining each significant biblical wo
rd, and then providing various ways in which this word was employed by secular Greeks. I drooled and may have let out a grunt...sort of like the Urukai of the Lord Of The Rings trilogy...I often picture myself as the one that Aragorn kills at the end of "Fellowship..."I digress...

Pastor Sanner continued giving precious details about this elusive collection. I asked where I might buy this and he told me of a bookshop in Pasadena called "The Archives." The name alone elicited shrieks of sheer joy, as if this were the Holy Grail of bookshops! He explained that many of the books that Fuller Seminary used as textbooks were available for purchase there. I have never since been so excited at the possibilities!

My first visit to the Archives bookshop coincided with my wife's first visit to the Jewelry district in Los Angeles several Christmases ago. She hyperventilated at the worthless diamond stones, unceremoniously draped upon gold necklaces and bracelets. I could not believe that you could put that many diamonds in that many buildings in Los Angeles. What a waste of space!

Ah, but that tiny little kingdom of books in Pasadena! The Archives was just that: A musty book shop filled with the great words of the greatest writers. No fluff. No "101 Ways To Be Happy With Your Christianity." It was the good stuff. It was my turn to hyperventilate.

I was overwhelmed. I could have spent weeks, months in that wonderful place. Of course, Lela being underwhelmed, allowed approximately 15 minutes of time! But it was enough to ask the bookkeeper if he had the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. He snickered, as if to say, "Do you know where you are?" Of course they had it! He directed me to the reference section and I walked the hallowed aisle to the TDNT. There it was in all it's glory!

Ten volumes, thousands of pages, the key to greater understanding and knowledge was mine! I pulled the first volume from the shelf to assess the price, assuming that my piddly fortune would be enough. I was aghast to discover that I was looking at over a thousand dollars! "Pastor Sanner never told me it would be that much? Why?" Bitter with disappointment, I settled for the Abridged one volume version, but ever imagining that I would one day find this at a discounted price, somehow...

Every Christian Book Distributor catalog that I received, representing the best bargains in Christian books, had the great volumes of great a great price! "Great" as in less than $1200, but still at $700! I'm A PASTOR PEOPLE!!! A few times over the last several years, I have seen it for $525, then $350. Last December, I was floored to see it drop to $250. Still I waited, biding my time, hoping and praying against all odds.

I checked Craigslist, Ebay,, and all other possible outlet
s. Nothing. Then it happened. I got the last "Preferred Customer Catalog" just about a month ago. I could hardly believe my eyes: $224! I about wet my pants, metaphorically you understand!!! This was within reach! I would save birthday money, Christmas money, wedding money, coffee money, etc. It would be mine!

Today was the day to make it happen. I cross checked all o
ther outlets just in case. Still, the best value was in my catalog. I was ready to take the proverbial plunge. Credit card in hand I reached for the phone. "I should check CBD's website, just once more...just in case..." I saw what I am about to show you right now:
Can you see those numbers!?!?! $129!?!?!?!?!? There had to be a mistake. A misprint? Perhaps a cruel joke or even worse, a disclaimer that said "$129 with the purchase of $1500 worth of books!" But no. The wonderful woman from CBD, with that Northeastern accent, took my order and promised that they would be here by Wednesday of next week!!!

I hope that you all had a great Christmas, but mine, with hope fulfilled, albeit a nerd's hope, made mine just wonderful!

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez


Carrie said...

I am so happy for yoU!!!

Frank And Lela said...

Thank you Carrie! I knew that you would understand...

Jason Dean B said...

yeah CBD is better than CCD. hey, fyi.. expires jan 11, 09.. so if you want to continue that.. it's on you bro! stoked on you're blogging, you're a great writer!!