If you could write a best-selling book, what would you write about?
Archives for July 2009
When asked how old she was Suzie replied “In two years, I will be twice as old as I was five years ago.” How old is she?
(see the comment section below for the answer)
If you could rid the world of one fear, what fear would it be? Why?
Really NOT so beautiful. So Beautiful: Divine Design for Life and the Church
is so replete with self-refuting nonsense that I feel like I have already wasted too much time on it and I am not going to waste my time reviewing it other than to say you shouldn’t waste your time reading it.
Three men were fishing. The boat flipped over and the three men fell into the water. Two of the men got their hair wet. Why didn’t the third man’s hair get wet?
(the solution can be found in the comment section below)
Over the last few weeks I have been engaged in leisure reading, or what might be considered “summer reading.” I have read a handful of books for which I do not feel like writing full-fledged reviews. However, here are some quick glimpses at what I thought of them;
I was skeptical when I picked up the book, but several friends and family members had read it and been moved by it so I read it to be able to compare notes. After having read the book I am even more skeptical than previously. Don Piper’s Heaven manages to fit every stereotypical rendering (complete with the brush of angel’s wings) without adding anything new. However, his Heaven is not that of the apostle Paul where to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. Piper’s Heaven is more like being part of the Verizon network — to be absent from the body is to be present with Friends and Family. His account is similar to the accounts of many others who have had near death experiences. Doesn’t that contribute to the credibility of his account? Not when you consider that many of those account givers are atheists or adherents of some pretty bizarre belief systems. Would we expect Christians and non-Christians to have the same experience of Heaven? Perhaps my biggest disappointment was that in all 208 pages I never did find a clear presentation of the gospel. If a Baptist Preacher is going to talk about Heaven don’t you think he ought to clearly tell people how to get there? – – NOT RECOMMENDED
This book is Madeleine L’Engle’s story of her mother’s last year on Earth. I found it to be a vivid and moving account of the joys and hardships experienced by families as they let go of their most senior members and adjust to new realities and new family roles. My appreciation for the book may in part be due to the fact that it resonates with my own experience. In the last nine months our joy over the birth of a new child was tempered by my mother dying after a long illness, my brother being killed in a car accident, and my father moving into an assisted living environment. As we have made the many associated adjustments it was helpful to read this book and have L’Engle walk alongside for awhile. — RECOMMENDED
I have read this book on numerous occasions. But, as Lewis says within its pages, if a book is not worth reading twice it is not worth reading even once. I consider Lewis to be one of the great essayists of the twentieth century. I appreciate his ability to shine light in dark places. We are in need of many more like Lewis who not only see the light but see “along the light” (drawing upon a metaphor from the book). Razor sharp wit and wisdom – you’ve got to love that. This book is actually a collection of essays brought together from a variety of venues. As a result it is a bit redundant is a bit redundant. Every time I have read this book I have wished that its editor would have taken a more active role in tailoring it for the reader. I will probably share a full review at some point in the future when I have read it again, but for now let me simply say that it is … — STRONGLY RECOMMENDED
This is another book which I have read numerous times. With each reading of the text I come to appreciate it more and more. I think it is probably the best book I know of for introducing the seeker or new believer to Christian theology. If God ever grants me the privilege of pastoring a church again it is my intent to preach a series on the topics found in this book’s eleven chapters and utilize the book as curriculum for simultaneous small group studies. While not agreeing with everything John Stott says in this book (for instance, his equation of the Lord’s Day with the Sabbath), I still believe this is an excellent book and that it provides an antidote to many of the errors being endorsed in churches today. — STRONGLY RECOMMENDED
I am familiar with the work of Paul Tripp and very much appreciate his understanding of discipleship and Biblical counseling. So, when this book was placed in my hands by a co-worker I was pleased to dip into its pages. And, I was not disappointed. Before I tell you how great this book is, let me preface my comments by saying that I typically don’t care for most books on discipleship and spiritual growth. I find their cookie cutter approaches, “to do” lists, and reflections of the latest Christian trends to be more irritating than edifying. Not so with this book. I think I can say without hyperbole that Tripp’s approach to discipleship, spiritual growth, and personal change is the most Biblical approach I have seen in a book like this. I will re-read this book and probably review it at a later time, but for now let me say that it is . . . — STRONGLY RECOMMENDED
In the introduction to this book John MacArthur explains that among the many sermon series he has preached at Grace Community Church, two of the most commented upon and for which recordings are requested are the two series he preached on the twelve apostles. Phil Johnson, editor extraordinaire, and an excellent author himself, has taken that material and shaped it into this book. The calling and training of the twelve makes great source material for self reflection and understanding the nature of God’s calling. God can do anything that He desires, but he has chosen to use individuals to bring about His purposes. This book is beneficial in fleshing out what it means for us individuals to participate in God’s work. — RECOMMENDED
Jonathan Martin has seen what can happen when Christians give with the right heart but without using their heads. Not pretty. Many times Christian giving can have results that are diametrically opposed to what is intended. As Goethe said, “Nothing is worse than active ignorance.” This book outlines an approach to Christian giving, particularly in terms of the missionary enterprise, that is consistent with the instruction of Scripture and will result in greater impact on people’s lives. This book will have limited appeal to the average reader, but is must reading for those who have responsibility for administering church budgets and missions funds. — RECOMMENDED.
I enjoyed this book on ancient western mythology; but the very reasons I like it will diminish desireability for many readers. (1) I like it because it is broken into very short chunks (1 or 2 pages). I like having a book around that I can pick up to fill those little five minute periods of life between activities (stop lights, waiting for a meeting, soaking in the bathtub, etc.) This isn’t the kind of book that you pick up and read for an hour. (2) I like it because the author compares the accounts of Homer and Hesiod, and he contrasts the mythology of Rome and Greece. I know that most people could care less how Hesiod differs from Homer, but such knowledge sends chills down my spine (that was hyperbole). (3) I like it because the author, Macrone, has managed to show the relevance of the material to modern language and thought. The book isn’t comprehensive enough to serve as a primer for younglings and newbies, and it isn’t the kind of book that you will find intellectually challenging or that will stimulate vicarious emotional response. However, it has nuggets of useful information for those with inquiring minds and I personally found it to be interesting. — RECOMMENDED
Out of intense complexities, intense simplicities emerge.
~ Winston Churchill
Whenever I have met a business proposition which, after taking thought, I could not reduce to simplicity, I have left it alone.
~ Henri Deterding
Possessions, outward success, publicity, luxury—to me these have always been contemptible. I believe that a simple and unassuming manner of life is best for every one, best both for the body and the mind.
~ Albert Einstein
Nothing is more simple than greatness; indeed, to be simple is to be great.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Simplicity of character is the natural result of profound thought.
~ Thomas Hazlitt
The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.
~ Hans Hoffmann
To pursue simplicity in life, in the world, in the future, is a most valuable enterprise.
~ Edward Teller
Encouragement is the oxygen of the soul.
~ John Maxwell
Three billion people on the face of the earth go to bed hungry every night, but four billion people go to bed every night hungry for a simple word of encouragement and recognition.
~ Cavett Robert
One kind word can warm three winter months.
A lot of people have gone further than they thought they could because someone else thought they could.
~ Zig Zigler
He who criticizes is seldom forgiven; he who encourages is seldom forgotten.
Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds.
~ Bible, Hebrews 10:24
God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out when you have faith that God is speaking through you. If your gift is that of serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, do a good job of teaching. If your gift is to encourage others, do it! If you have money, share it generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.
~ Bible, Romans 12:6-8
The key is not to prioritize what is on the schedule, but to schedule your priorities.
Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out.
Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.
You can’t talk yourself out of a problem you behave yourself into.
A good politician is quite as unthinkable as an honest burglar.
A philosopher is a blind man in a dark room looking for a black cat that isn’t there. A theologian is the man who finds it.
For centuries, theologians have been explaining the unknowable in terms of the-not-worth-knowing.
Philosophy consists largely of one philosopher arguing that all the others are jackasses. He usually proves it, and I should add that he also usually proves that he is one himself.
The typical American of today has lost all the love of liberty, that his forefathers had, and all their disgust of emotion, and pride in self- reliance. He is led no longer by Davy Crocketts; he is led by cheer leaders, press agents, word mongers, uplifters.
To die for an idea; it is unquestionably noble. But how much nobler it would be if men died for ideas that were true!
War will never cease until babies begin to come into the world with larger cerebrums and smaller adrenal glands.