Saturday, October 17, 2009

Green:The Circle (Book Zero) by Ted Dekker

I have been a Ted Dekker fan since reading Thr3e in 2003. When he published Book One (Black)of The Circle Trilogy, I gobbled it up in a short time. A few months later, I did the same with Book 2 (Red), and again a few months later with Book 3 (White). When I came to the end of the last installment, I remember screaming, "He can't do that to us on the last page of the last book!" Well he did do "that", but has returned with Green: Book Zero of the Circle Trilogy, which completes the Circle by serving as both the beginning and the end.

Green retells our history through a fantastical tapestry of good and evil, future and past, fantasy and reality. It is an apocalyptic tale that will intrigue you and frighten you.

I have to admit that I made my way through this book at a much slower rate than I did the other three books of the trilogy. I believe part of the problem was that it has been 5 years since I finished my reading of White.

In addition, there were points when I thought the story was dragging in comparison with the other books.
I wrestled with understanding how this book could be read either first or last. All that said, I was satisfied with the ending/beginning and pleased with how Dekker completed the circle. Overall, I see how someone could benefit from reading this book first or last and that there is much that can be gained from the truths found in this Circle Trilogy. Watch the trailer below for an introduction to this book.

The Holocaust- 3 Movies

Last weekend, I watched 3 movies about the Holocaust: Inheritance, Schindler's List, and The Pianist. As I watched these movies, I was reminded of the horrors and evil that lie in the depths of the human heart. When I hear people make statements like "People are generally good," I have to think of some of the people involved in the holocaust atrocities and, if I think more seriously about it, I will be frightened by the darkness in my own heart. Fact: The Holocaust happened. Fiction: It couldn't happen again. Don't forget Bosnia and Rwanda. I believe that any person, put into a particular situation, can commit great evil. That is why we can't save ourselves, only Christ can. There is still goodness in the world...glimpses of light in the darkness. Each of these films show the light as well.

I won't get into the details of the movies I watched, but will include the trailers. If you have never seen them, watch them. If you have, watch them again and remember.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Just Courage by Gary Haugen

The subtitle of Just Courage by Gary Haugen provides insight into what is in store for the reader: God's Great Expedition for the Restless Christian.

Gary Haugen voices his observation that Western, specifically American, Christians are restless and bored, attending church on Sunday and, for the most part, not living an adventure with God on any given day of the week. Haugen serves as President and CEO of International Justice Mission (, a human rights agency that secures justice for victims of slavery, sexual exploitation, and other forms of violent oppression.

Just Courage is a challenge for Christians to be move from being rescued by Christ to being the rescuer of those in the world that are bound by the chains of injustice...from rescued to rescuer. He asks a poignant question at several points in the book: Do you want to be be brave or do you want to be safe?
He notes that God doesn't call us to be safe, yet our life decisions seem to point to personal safety as a top priority. He points to Isaiah 1:17 and 58:6-14 to get to the heart of God's desire for those who want to walk with Him and be brave, not safe. Haugen sounds the horn for Christians to cross their boundaries of fear out of a life of restlessness into a life of rescuing the oppressed, a life that is significant.
I recommend this book to anyone, but it will be particularly helpful for the American Christian that is bored or staganant in their walk with Christ and wants to be more involved with making a difference by being part in the global atrocities that occur daily. Do you want to be brave or do you want to be safe?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

To Save A Life

I was able to catch an advance screening of To Save A Life which is set for release in January.
The film follows Jake, a high school student with everything going for him: a scholarship to play basketball for his favorite team, his lifelong dream; his girlfriend is the most popular girl in the school, and he is the life of every party. A tragic event involving his former best friend begins the unravelling of Jake's life and relationships. Should he have treated people differently? Was his life really going anywhere that mattered? What is a real friend? These, and many more, questions swirl through Jake's mind and heart as he digs for answers.
I would recommend this film for anyone that interacts with teenagers, whether you are a teacher, youth minister, involved in a youth community program, or a parent. It will assist you in understanding the world that our teenagers live in everyday. It may even stir up your own life.
I encourage all of you to see this film which is set for release in January 2010. I have included the trailer below for your viewing. Learn more about the movie: here