The Penn of Denn, by Denn Guptill (Forever Books, 2009)
Denn Guptill has a gift for picking up on something newsworthy or current, adding a bit of humour or common sense, and finding a spiritual application. The Penn of Denn will make you smile, nod, scratch your head, perhaps even pray.
Subtitled “The world through Denn coloured glasses,” this book is a compilation of Canadian author Denn Guptill’s thoughts on a variety of subjects: church, sports, nature, celebrities, politics, etc.
Most of the brief readings (each less than a page) first saw print in the Bedford Community Church bulletin (Nova Scotia, Canada), where Denn was pastor at the time. A few longer ones are from his sailing column, “Aboat Time”.
Because it’s the writings of a pastor to his people (and now shared with us), there is talk of sin, grace, forgiveness… perennial Christian subjects. There is no finger-pointing or blaming, but there is a compassionate desire for all to experience the awareness of God’s grace. Sometimes that comes out in a plea for Christians to share the news of the spiritual life they’ve been given.
Since this is a collection of writings to a particular congregation over a period of years, some selections refer to old or local news. The principles still apply. Not everyone’s writings could translate to the larger audience, but Denn Guptill’s do. I think it’s because he speaks to common issues in a conversational way.
Reading The Penn of Denn is a bit like sitting with the author for tea and a friendly chat. The content isn’t heavy, but it isn’t fluff either. It’s the stuff of everyday life.