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Title: E-mail From God for Teens

Author: Claire and Curt Cloninger

Publisher: RiverOak Publishing

Date: 1999

Discovered at: Goodwill, Olathe

The cover promises: Can God craft a spam filter so powerful, even He can’t get through it?

Representative quote (from an e-mail titled “I’m Fun”):
“If you spend time with Me, you’ll find out that what you really want is a relationship with Me. I made you to need Me, and until you need Me, you won’t really be happy. Get to know me and I’ll satisfy your desires. (I may even throw in a boat, too! You never can tell.)
The Joy-Giver,
God”


As Claire and Curt Cloninger have it, in 1999, after millennia of silence, the Creator of All Things at last reveals himself. He doesn't speak to prophets or employ angels. Instead, he uses AOL. In this shocking collection, the Cloningers compile more than 200 messages straight from the Outbox of Outboxes. They claim, "It's an opportunity to log onto God's heart and mind."

The (new) good news? God likes you.

A lot.

Like, maybe in the way the creepy student teacher liked you in junior high.

Among His subject lines: "I'll Meet You in Your Room," "Come to Know Me" and "Learn to Be a Love Receiver." He signs off as "The Joy-Giver," "Your Strong Tower" and "The One Who Made Thunder."

In "You Were Made to Love Me," He even talks about filling your "God-shaped hole" with His love. You will, of course, reciprocate, using some "you-shaped" orifice of His.

In messages such as "Pull Up a Chair and Sit Awhile," his mode is pure quiet storm:

"Right in the middle of the world's hurricane of busyness, I'll serve you a sit-down, four-course meal. If you make time in your day to stop and enjoy our relationship, I'll take care of the things you're worried about. Enjoy me in the eye of the storm.

Your peace,
God."

Shocking Detail

So, the God of Abraham, David and Peter is now the God of the age-inappropriate slow jam. Worse, he's also the God of Chicken Soup for the Soul. Imagine an Old Testament believer hearing this from the burning bush:

"Dear child,

Have you ever slept under a comforter? It's a plush blanket filled with downy softness that is warm and ultra-cozy. On a cold night there's nothing like curling up under a warm comforter.

Think of me that way. I am your comforter."

Forget building arks or sacrificing sons. This God inspires just one word: unsubscribe.

Highlight

God's subject lines basically break down into three broad categories.

Whitesnake Songs

"Go After Love"
"I Want to Amaze You"
"You Were Made to Love Me"
"I'm an Expert on Loving You"

Things Lou Pearlman Might Say
to a Boy-Band Hopeful

"Let's Get to Know Each Other Better"
"What to Wear Every Day"
"Learn to Love My Rules"
"Not Your Teacher but Your Master"
"You Are My Advertisement"

A Little From Column A, a Little From Column B

"Find Yourself in Me"
"I'll Never Leave You Alone"
"I'll See You at the Party"
"Let Me Be Your Treehouse"

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