Tuesday, December 28, 2010
"I don't remember one thing about the day I was born. It hasn't been for lack of trying either...I only know one man who might be able to tell me where I come from, and that man is a liar and a fraud."
That liar is Floyd, a flim-flammer just looking for his next big "act" that will rake in the copper coins. His on-going act is in the feechie trade; this act focuses on Grady playing the role of a for-real in the flesh feechie. Everyone in the frontier of Corenwald has heard of the feechies, but no one has ever seen one.
Grady plays one and Floyd cashes in on it. When the civilizers tire of talk of feechies, Floyd and Grady revive interest by creating a feechie scare across the land. The plan works and so business booms again.
Jonathan Rogers has created a world that hints of the American Deep South, with its tales that weave truth and legend. Being a native Georgian like Rogers, I appreciate his yarn-spinning and had to laugh at times thinking of similar type stories I had heard growing up...not of feechies, but of other mysterious entities just waiting to gobble you up in the night (or if they are daring, in broad daylight). Humor and sadness are quilted into satisfying quest for belonging and self discovery. I applaud Rogers for this contribution to Southern literature which is great for children and adults alike.
I received this book for free from Waterbrook Mutnomah Publishing Group for this review.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Friday, November 19, 2010
I am a big fan of instrumental keyboard music, especially solo piano, and George Winston's December has been my all-time favorite piano CD. In the Spirit of Christmas belongs right next to it and if I keep listening to it, it may even surpass George on my Christmas instrumental favorites list. Cape has painted musical decorations and a snowfall of notes that fill any room with the joy and wonder of Christmas.
"A Winter's Hymn", with it's beautiful melody has an undercurrent of sadness, much like the sadness that come in the cold, chilly months of winter when all of nature seems to come to a standstill, waiting in silence for the first ray of spring and the dawning of new life. The title fits perfectly the feelings that stirred in me when I first listened: I wanted to kneel in awe of God and His mysterious gift of winter. Capes unique renderings of traditional Christmas carols such as Away in a Manger, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, Joy to the World, and Jingle Bells are refreshing and warm the heart like a hot mug of wassail or a cup of hot chocolate warm the body.
I have included a video below for "The Remembrance Carol." I love what Cape says about where the song came from. He says, "My mom was the one that showed me the spirit of Christmas, but life moves on and she passed away a few years ago. I wrote this song the first Christmas after she passed. So, this song is dedicated to my Mom and anyone who has ever missed someone at Christmas." His words breathe life into the song and I can relate to them. This year will mark the 10th year anniversary of the death of my father, who left us suddenly two weeks before Christmas that year and only one week before our annual family Christmas get together. Knowing the story behind the song, it is hard for me not to listen as tears fill my eyes as I remember in sadness, but also in thankfulness of the time I had with my father. So, like Chuck Cape says, this song is for those of us that know what it is like to miss someone as you take in the sights and sound of Christmas.
As you can tell, I recommend this CD to all lovers of Christmas music, especially those of you who, like me, love to hear piano music blanketing the landscape during Christmas. Thank you, Chuck Cape, for a brilliant addition to the ever-expanding playlist of Christmas music.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
The final segment, based on the Light of the World/Lamp under a bowl passage in Matthew 5:14-16, just didn't seem to make much sense with regard to what the segment was supposed to be based on. On top of this, the voices for the various characters were nothing unique and the script was lame. Attempts at humor fell flat. Maybe the books are better. As much as I was hoping to like this DVD, I'm not even sure if I would be willing to give it another chance. Farewell, Booga Booga Land.
Friday, October 1, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Sunday, August 15, 2010
I must admit that this book made me uncomfortable as Platt told of his experiences from around the world working with various churches. This book is not just a book of inspiring stories. Platt does an excellent job in pointing to scripture to back up the truths he is sharing. I am confident that my squirming as I read this book came from the conviction of the Holy Spirit in how I have ignored and completely disobeyed the teachings of Christ because they weren't in line with the kingdom I am building for myself.
Here is some chapter titles that will give you a taste of what you can expect from Radical: (1) Someone Worth Losing Everything For (2) The Great Why of God: God's Global Purpose (3) How Much is Enough: American wealth in a World of Poverty.
I was both encouraged and challenged by this book. Encouraged that there are people addressing these topics and taking them seriously and challenged that I haven't been one of those people but have a stirring desire to be counted among them.
In this post, I have included 2 videos for you to watch: a general book video and also one of David Platt himself talking about the book. I strongly recommend this book for all Christians to read. It is in an easy to read style, but the content will not be easy for anyone. I am working my way through it a second time.
David Platt has challenged his church in Alabama to what he calls The Radical Experiment (http://www.radicalexperiment.org/).
Here are the five challenges included in the experiment:
In One Year:
- To pray for the entire world
- To read through the entire Bible
- To commit our lives to a multiplying community
- To sacrifice our money for a specific purpose
- To give our time in another context
Details of the above can be found in the "Overview" section of the Experiment website. If you are interested in being part of an "experimental group" at some point in the future, leave a comment on this posting and we can talk about it.
Blessings as you journey in a Radical life for for Jesus.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
The story is about a boy named Norman that decides to change the world and as an adult does just that. However, the story is also about Henry, George, and Moses. You see, each of these people impacted another's life, and that person impacted another and so on. It's the butterfly effect, the name given to the principle that everything triggers an effect on something else . All of these people did something that led to Norman being able to change the world. This book is a wonderful tool to instill in children the truth that that they can make a difference in the world, even if that difference is several generations away. The things we do today impact the future. Nothing is insignificant. As you can imagine, this is a message not just for children. It is a message for grownups, too.
This book is great for kids of all ages with it's wonderful message and beautiful illustrations by Philip Hurst. All will enjoy this as we move toward doing our part in changing the world. It starts today. I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their Booksneeze books for bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16CFR, Part 255.
Monday, August 9, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Why was I troubled by what I saw in Kicheko? This community was literally a series of rooms built and held together by whatever could be found at the time of construction, whether it be sheet metal, cardboard, spare lumber. The pieces were leaned against each other, forming living spaces that were less extravagant than what the "family pets" enjoy in the U.S. I took note that my bathroom is larger than most of the living areas of these homes. Piles of garbage, in plain view, mark every step. Flies, dogs, and chickens share the open spaces.
In the middle of these horrible living conditions, the light shines in the faces of the children and the Fountain of Hope church members that live here and have been rescued from the dominion of darkness. They are alive and well as they walk and put their hope in Christ, rather than in their circumstances. I was blown away as I heard church members talking about how they wanted to help those around them in need. The focus was not on simply bettering their own situation, but bettering so as to help their neighbors. This is a God-focus and a lesson our Western churches can learn from our brothers and sisters in Kenya. As we build buildings, they are building the Kingdom.
He stopped and graced me with his smile as I snapped this picture. It is a great reminder to me of how God uses us. I am full of faults, a ball with no bounce. Yet, through Him I can still smile and be part of the celebration of life. The world is imperfect, but in Christ all is being made perfect.
Sitting uncomfortably in my airplane seat, I was comforted by knowing that one day the very clouds that I was flying through will burst open and Jesus will be known by all and all will acknowledge that He is Lord of Lords. He will gather His people and the "not yet" will become "now". I will at that time be truly home for the first time. But for some it will be too late. Don't be one of those. Turn to Him today.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Sunday, May 30, 2010
This book is a great tool to help you.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Do I even see the food and clean water I enjoy each day as a blessing? Do I consider them at all?
Richard Stearns has written what could be the most important book for the church in many years. This should be required reading for all Christians. Stearns has packed his book with scripture references to show these aren't just his thoughts, but demands and commands from the very heart of God in His Word. In addition to the scripture, he recounts numerous stories of God's people in action to step out of themselves to love their neighbor.
I am left stirred with a shaken foundation, knowing I not only should do something but MUST.
There is a hole in our gospel, but not in THE GOSPEL. As the church, together we must fill it.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Drawing from his personal stories and experiences as a pastor and from Biblical texts and accounts, Pete Wilson has given us a valuable tool that I think most, if not all, people will be able to relate to and gather vital truths to help in Plan B living.
I have read much lately on the topic of suffering and pain. One thing I appreciate about Plan B is the way Pete Wilson shares as a fellow struggler, not talking down to his readers, but walking with them on their journeys through life. He doesn't give trite answers and quote scripture as if it will make the difficulties go away. In fact, there are times when he humanly and honestly admits that he doesn't have the answers. He does provide real stories, within scripture and from people he knows personally, making Plan B a comfortable read on an uncomfortable topic. He looks at the illusion of control, darkness, and what God is doing when we are waiting on Him. He explains the importance of having "me too" people in our lives and how lives can be transformed through tragedy. He doesn't wrap everything up neatly with a pretty bow, but he does leave you at the cross and embracing hope. Is there a better place to end? Thanks to Pete Wilson for a well written and much needed book.
Friday, January 15, 2010
Piper pours the foundation for a biblical worldview of missions, one with the supremacy of God as the overarching truth in taking the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
The opening paragraph of Chapter 1 is the spring from which the remainder of the book flows.
This book is a great reminder to me of the necessity of missions and where prayer and suffering fit into the picture. I was challenged as I read of compassion for the soul's of men and I asked myself if I have that kind of compassion. Packed with scripture references, this book will help anyone in having a worldview that models a heart for missions, a heart sold out in satisfaction for God alone.