So, this past Friday was my birthday. I took the day off and hoped to not deal with anything work-related. In the afternoon, I received a call from CCC. I let it go straight to voicemail. I didn’t want to answer and have what someone thought to be an emergency not be one by my definition. The voicemail was from Jannie Price asking if I’d be interested in hanging out with Dr. Jerry Root. Uh, yeah.

Dr. Jerry Root was a guest speaker at CCC yesterday. He has taught before at CCC. He’s a professor at Wheaton College, and an expert on all things C.S. Lewis. He’s also a former football player and coach.

He was in Omaha last weekend, and Tim Perry called me asking for ideas of place to take Jerry. I recommended two, La Buvette and Jackson Street Booksellers, and he thoroughly enjoyed both places. I was bummed I couldn’t hang with the two of them. Tim told me the next time Jerry came in he’d make sure I could get some time with Jerry. I just didn’t think it’d be in a week.

I wasn’t sure what the afternoon with Jerry would hold, but I knew it would be fun for some reason. I took him to Dundee Dell, and when we walked in I could tell he liked the place.

What did we talk about? Or, more appropriately, what did I listen to him to talk about? (I asked a number of questions.)

  • Club (American) football in Europe
  • “The Troubles”
  • English history and culture
  • Irish history and culture
  • Beer (Irish, Belgium and Czech beers are his favorites.)
  • Scotch (A passion of his. The manager at the Dell was impressed with his knowledge on this.)
  • C.S. Lewis
  • Los Angeles Rams (I managed to impress Jerry with my knowledge of NFL history.)
  • Harry Potter
  • J.K. Rowling
  • Theology
  • Philippians 3:1-9 (Basis for the message he taught that morning.)
  • Christian culture
  • J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Lord of the Rings (We didn’t like how Faramir was reflected in the film version.)
  • Missions
  • Fish and chips (He said the Dell’s fish and chips compare with any you’d get in England.)
  • English pubs
  • Draft pull tabs
  • Forrest Gump (His favorite film.)
  • First-time movie experiences
  • Star Wars
  • George Lucas
  • Our families

What else? He told me I should watch the films Waking Ned Devine and Leap Year. Yes, he highly recommended the romantic comedy Leap Year.

He thinks it’s foolish of people to be anti-Harry Potter when they haven’t even read the books. (He hasn’t read them, but everyone else in his family has.)

He also told me about how he pulled his kids out of school the day Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace was released in the theater. He camped out with his kids for the first showing. He told them, “I won’t let your schooling get in the way of your education”.

When I dropped him off at the airport, I got out of the car to say good bye. I went to shake his hand, but he smiled at me. Then, he hit me in the chest with an open hand. He was smiling. I wasn’t sure what to do, so I hit him in the shoulder. I was smiling.

Jerry is the kind of guy you just want to sit as his feet and listen. I had the thought of, “If I was younger, I’d go to Wheaton just to be in his classes”.

Already looking forward to the next time he comes to CCC.

His message on C.S. Lewis, from 2008, can be downloaded on this page. (right-click the listen button) There are two files. His regular message, and then the message he gave at Gathering where he did a Q&A.

The messages he preached from the past two Sundays can be downloaded on this page. (This past Sunday’s message will be available 6/22.)

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