August 2008


Bookshelf&general26 Aug 2008 05:30 pm

there’s not much that’s more annoying than a runny nose… i mean, there’s a few related things that are pretty close – the achiness, the congested sinuses, the chills that make no sense whatesoever and, last but not least, the determined particles of tissue that lodge themselves into the fabric of one’s gotee..

yes, i have a cold or allergies or both or neither or more… pretty annoying indeed… and i blame it all on the cat… i don’t have a cat, but we were in the presence of a cat the other day… the day before i woke up feeling like this…

anyway, i don’t have much of an update in me today… i need to save my energy for the first of my two fantasy football drafts (one tonight and one tomorrow night) but i wanted to talk a little bit about a little bit… maybe just books today…

SNAKES, SNAILS, AND PUPPY-DOG TAILS
-to the tune of Let’s Hear It for the Boy – Deniece Williams

Boys Should Be Boys
by Meg Meeker

Now, this perhaps isn’t a book that would jump out at me as something i would read, but i do have two little boys at home – have i mentioned them ever? they’re pretty much awesome – and i have always had something of a bent towards the field of psychology if for no reason other than i’ve found that the discoveries we make about other humans often line up with what we believe about God…

Anyway, this book was really enjoyable in that it reminded me of what makes me tick and heightened my senses to the development of said boys… there was a lot of insight to the text and it was somewhat therapeutic in some senses… I have to admit though, there were a number of typos throughout the book that really distracted me as i made my way through the pages… that’s kind of a pet peeve for me…

DREAM ON
-to the tune of Wake Up – Leeland

Wide Awake
by Erwin McManus

I’ve enjoyed some of McMcanus’s previous efforts – The Barbarian Way and Soul Cravings – as well as his plain talks available via the Mosaic podcast available on iTunes… and i was really drawn into this book, not just by the creepy eye on the cover, but also by the DVD and the general subject matter… i’m generally considered a dreamer… and, much to my own disgust, i don’t see a lot of those dreams play out into fruition, so i was hoping that this book would be more than just another in a series of motivational tools that i digested, agreed with and then resumed my normal life…

Time will tell, but a lot of what McManus says in the book, and what we talked about in our interview (which i’m not at all ashamed to advertise for again) really resonated within me and it makes a lot of sense… of course, i don’t believe everything that McManus believes or preaches, but hey, this book really reaches out and reminds us that we’re given dreams with the intention that we’ll live them out… and that’s not at all bad…

THE READING ROOM
-to the tune of Saint and Sinner – Derek Webb

So, i have a few more to do still… one from The Donald and one from Rob Bell at least… and it seems like i’m stalling a bit, but i’ll get there… i keep getting more books i want to read and i think that even after the summer closes, i’ll keep updating and chugging along… but for now, here’s the latest, updated and perhaps final list for Mark Lee hosted summer reading club

Completed…


Working through…
The Parent You Want to Be (Parrott) [about 150 pages left]
New Way to Be Human (Peacock) [about 200 pages left]
My Name Is Russell Fink (Snyder) [about 250 pages left]
Quiet Strength (Dungy) [about 270 pages left]
At the Crossroads (Peacock)
Deliver Us from Evelyn (Wells)
The Two Towers (Tolkien)
UnChristian (Kinnaman & Lyons)
FlashBang (Steele)
Sinner (Dekker)

FULL LIST HERE

TH-TH-THAT’S ALL FOLKS

this post is as over as the Olympics… and i’m on my way… more great stuff to come here and on the front page… in fact, i’m doing an interview tomorrow that will make the front page soon… and i’ve got some super secret projects that are coming to pass… i’m sure that i’ll talk about the upcoming TV season, more books, football, and so much more… soon… and very soon…

peace… love… bdg….

general26 Aug 2008 05:28 pm

there’s not much that’s more annoying than a runny nose… i mean, there’s a few related things that are pretty close – the achiness, the congested sinuses, the chills that make no sense whatesoever and, last but not least, the determined particles of tissue that lodge themselves into the fabric of one’s gotee..

yes, i have a cold or allergies or both or neither or more… pretty annoying indeed… and i blame it all on the cat… i don’t have a cat, but we were in the presence of a cat the other day… the day before i woke up feeling like this…

anyway, i don’t have much of an update in me today… i need to save my energy for the first of my two fantasy football drafts (one tonight and one tomorrow night) but i wanted to talk a little bit about a little bit… maybe just books today…

SNAKES, SNAILS, AND PUPPY-DOG TAILS
to the tune of Let’s Hear It for the Boy – Deniece Williams

Boys Should Be Boys
by Meg Meeker

Now, this perhaps isn’t a book that would jump out at me as something i would read, but i do have two little boys at home – have i mentioned them ever? they’re pretty much awesome – and i have always had something of a bent towards the field of psychology if for no reason other than i’ve found that the discoveries we make about other humans often line up with what we believe about God…

Anyway, this book was really enjoyable in that it reminded me of what makes me tick and heightened my senses to the development of said boys… there was a lot of insight to the text and it was somewhat therapeutic in some senses… I have to admit though, there were a number of typos throughout the book that really distracted me as i made my way through the pages… that’s kind of a pet peeve for me…

DREAM ON
to the tune of Wake Up – Leeland

Wide Awake
by Erwin McManus

I’ve enjoyed some of McMcanus’s previous efforts – The Barbarian Way and Soul Cravings – as well as his plain talks available via the Mosaic podcast available on iTunes… and i was really drawn into this book, not just by the creepy eye on the cover, but also by the DVD and the general subject matter… i’m generally considered a dreamer… and, much to my own disgust, i don’t see a lot of those dreams play out into fruition, so i was hoping that this book would be more than just another in a series of motivational tools that i digested, agreed with and then resumed my normal life…

Time will tell, but a lot of what McManus says in the book, and what we talked about in our interview (which i’m not at all ashamed to advertise for again) really resonated within me and it makes a lot of sense… of course, i don’t believe everything that McManus believes or preaches, but hey, this book really reaches out and reminds us that we’re given dreams with the intention that we’ll live them out… and that’s not at all bad…

THE READING ROOM
to the tune of Saint and Sinner – Derek Webb

So, i have a few more to do still… one from The Donald and one from Rob Bell at least… and it seems like i’m stalling a bit, but i’ll get there… i keep getting more books i want to read and i think that even after the summer closes, i’ll keep updating and chugging along… but for now, here’s the latest, updated and perhaps final list for Mark Lee hosted summer reading club

Completed…

Working through…
The Parent You Want to Be (Parrott) [about 150 pages left]
New Way to Be Human (Peacock) [about 200 pages left]
My Name Is Russell Fink (Snyder) [about 250 pages left]
Quiet Strength (Dungy) [about 270 pages left]
At the Crossroads (Peacock)
Deliver Us from Evelyn (Wells)
The Two Towers (Tolkien)
UnChristian (Kinnaman & Lyons)
FlashBang (Steele)
Sinner (Dekker)

FULL LIST HERE

TH-TH-THAT’S ALL FOLKS

this post is as over as the Olympics… and i’m on my way… more great stuff to come here and on the front page… in fact, i’m doing an interview tomorrow that will make the front page soon… and i’ve got some super secret projects that are coming to pass… i’m sure that i’ll talk about the upcoming TV season, more books, football, and so much more… soon… and very soon…

peace… love… bdg….

features&front page&general&inTRuviews&news&pop culture&reviews22 Aug 2008 04:25 pm

It’s Friday already?… well, here’s the headline of the week for me… “Bernanke: Financial crisis taking toll on economy”… you think? that guy is just BRILLIANT… i wonder how he came to that comclusion…

anyway… it’s been a busy week and i’ve frittered away way too much of my time, but alas, i’m here and i have a few minutes to talk about a few things… today, i’m going to talk about the recent presidential showdown at the Saddleback Corral, the emergency hunger crisis, and two books that i’ve finished, but not yet reviewed… i’m told that summer is almost over and thus, the Mark Lee hosted summer reading club is on its last legs… i’ll also tell you about some new stuff from the front page… let’s get it on…

HIGH NOON

to the tune of Rodeo – Manafest

Rick Warren invited both presidential candidates into his church for a faith forum… two discussions of policies and faith followed, each about an hour in length with the candidates taking turns on the “hotseat”… i didn’t get to see it live, but it’s currently available to watch on CNN.com… i can’t obviously comment on each point that was brought up, but i will talk about a little bit that stood out…

First off, i thought both Obama and McCain started off shaky, Obama fumbling for his words (which actually lasted the entire interview) and misinterpreting the first question (“I wouldn’t limit myself to three” – no one asked you to) and McCain falling into stump mode, but they both also relaxed a bit, McCain, in my opinion proving to be more comfortable on the stage, in the church and within his own identity…. in fact, identity came up as an issue for me as well, and i think that will be obvious as we go along…

The second question, “What is your greatest moral failure?” really hit the mark and, for me, exposed something important about the character of these two men… i’ll take them out of order and praise McCain for his response… “I’m not a perfect man, but the failure of my first marriage was my greatest moral failure”… this response was met with silence and really struck my own heart’s chord, stirring within me empathy for McCain… Obama’s response on the other hand, seemed to be fine, but the more i let it sink in, the more i found myself a little bit disgusted by it…

“I had a difficult youth.”… “My father wasn’t in the house.”… “I experimented with drugs and I drank”… “[there’s] a certain selfishness on my part”… fine… here’s the thing that bothers me… selfishness is fine as an answer at face value… selfishness is common to us all and certainly qualifies as a moral condition… however, i had two problems with this response… first, he prefaces it with excuses… three excuses that pass the blame on to people (or substances) other than himself… it’s as if he’s saying, because i was preconditioned to fail morally, i became selfish and made selfish choices…

the second thing that bothered me was that it’s a very genaric answer… it’s like saying “i have ten fingers… and because of that i had to learn how to use them all”… well, we all have ten fingers (well, ideally) and we all had to learn to use them… it doesn’t tell me anything specifically about you… it seems rather disingenuous and more of a tactic to avoid revealing anything personal than an actual answer… it’s the equivalent of “my greatest weakness is that I try too hard” answer at a job interview…

Next up is a biggie… and even though it’s a question about a specific issue – in this case abortion – but the responses again reveal far more about character and identity… again, i’ll do this in out of order… Question: “At what point does a baby get human rights, in your view?”… McCain, without hesistation responses, “From the moment of conception.”… simple as that… he then states that he’s always been pro-life and he’ll always be pro-life… very clear cut and straight forward…

Obama’s answer, on the other hand, was full of stammering and revealed yet again, a lack of character and substance within this presidential hopeful… “To answer this question theologically or scientifically with any specificity is something that’s above my pay grade”… excuse me? above your pay grade? are you not running for the position of the most powerful person in the country and at times, the world?… nothing is above your pay grade…

but more generally speaking… “One thing that I’m conviced of is that there is a moral and an ethical question to this issue”… um, thanks, Captain Obvious… “I am pro-choice… not because I’m pro-abortion, but because I don’t think that women make these decisions casually”… i’m sorry, but… SO WHAT?… if i choose to rob a bank, it’s a decision that i’m sure to wrestle with and struggle with and not something that i would do “casually” but it’s STILL WRONG OF ME TO DO…

He then goes on to explain that the real concern is how to reduce the number of abortions, which makes sense and i agree with him on that, there do need to be programs in place to help expectant mothers and parents who don’t know how they’ll raise their children once they arrive… support systems and all that… but education? i think everybody knows that having sex may result in pregnancy even if you’re not married or not out of high school… we don’t need more education, we need less escape clauses…

More brief things that stood out to me throughout the interview, besides the constant struggling to put words together, was what seems like an inconsistancy between preventative actions for abortions and later for orphans (“We need to reduce the number of orphans in the world”)… but a hesitation for preventative actions in defense of the nation militarily…

Also, it seems inconsistent to me that Obama keeps driving home “Whatever you do to the least of these”… as an important concept for America to embrace… providing for the least of these… but ignoring the unborn children… and another minor thing that i caught that raised my eyebrow is that Obama mentioned that his faith in God meant that “hopefully” his sins will be washed away…

McCain dabbled a little in the stump speeches, but he also told a lot of stories which resonate very well and, i think he further defined himself as a man and a candidate which is something that Obama continually shifts away from… in trying to be all things for everyone, i think he’s making himself a tin man with no heart or substance…

MY TIME IS UP

so that took longer than i expected and now i must go… you can check out the Brandon Heath Interview and this week’s album reviews in 25 Words or Less on the main page and i’ll be back with more later…

peace… love… bdg….

general22 Aug 2008 04:24 pm

It’s Friday already?… well, here’s the headline of the week for me… “Bernanke: Financial crisis taking toll on economy”… you think? that guy is just BRILLIANT… i wonder how he came to that comclusion…

anyway… it’s been a busy week and i’ve frittered away way too much of my time, but alas, i’m here and i have a few minutes to talk about a few things… today, i’m going to talk about the recent presidential showdown at the Saddleback Corral, the emergency hunger crisis, and two books that i’ve finished, but not yet reviewed… i’m told that summer is almost over and thus, the Mark Lee hosted summer reading club is on its last legs… i’ll also tell you about some new stuff from the front page… let’s get it on…

HIGH NOON
to the tune of Rodeo – Manafest

Rick Warren invited both presidential candidates into his church for a faith forum… two discussions of policies and faith followed, each about an hour in length with the candidates taking turns on the “hotseat”… i didn’t get to see it live, but it’s currently available to watch on CNN.com… i can’t obviously comment on each point that was brought up, but i will talk about a little bit that stood out…

First off, i thought both Obama and McCain started off shaky, Obama fumbling for his words (which actually lasted the entire interview) and misinterpreting the first question (“I wouldn’t limit myself to three” – no one asked you to) and McCain falling into stump mode, but they both also relaxed a bit, McCain, in my opinion proving to be more comfortable on the stage, in the church and within his own identity…. in fact, identity came up as an issue for me as well, and i think that will be obvious as we go along…

The second question, “What is your greatest moral failure?” really hit the mark and, for me, exposed something important about the character of these two men… i’ll take them out of order and praise McCain for his response… “I’m not a perfect man, but the failure of my first marriage was my greatest moral failure”… this response was met with silence and really struck my own heart’s chord, stirring within me empathy for McCain… Obama’s response on the other hand, seemed to be fine, but the more i let it sink in, the more i found myself a little bit disgusted by it…

“I had a difficult youth.”… “My father wasn’t in the house.”… “I experimented with drugs and I drank”… “[there’s] a certain selfishness on my part”… fine… here’s the thing that bothers me… selfishness is fine as an answer at face value… selfishness is common to us all and certainly qualifies as a moral condition… however, i had two problems with this response… first, he prefaces it with excuses… three excuses that pass the blame on to people (or substances) other than himself… it’s as if he’s saying, because i was preconditioned to fail morally, i became selfish and made selfish choices…

the second thing that bothered me was that it’s a very genaric answer… it’s like saying “i have ten fingers… and because of that i had to learn how to use them all”… well, we all have ten fingers (well, ideally) and we all had to learn to use them… it doesn’t tell me anything specifically about you… it seems rather disingenuous and more of a tactic to avoid revealing anything personal than an actual answer… it’s the equivalent of “my greatest weakness is that I try too hard” answer at a job interview…

Next up is a biggie… and even though it’s a question about a specific issue – in this case abortion – but the responses again reveal far more about character and identity… again, i’ll do this in out of order… Question: “At what point does a baby get human rights, in your view?”… McCain, without hesistation responses, “From the moment of conception.”… simple as that… he then states that he’s always been pro-life and he’ll always be pro-life… very clear cut and straight forward…

Obama’s answer, on the other hand, was full of stammering and revealed yet again, a lack of character and substance within this presidential hopeful… “To answer this question theologically or scientifically with any specificity is something that’s above my pay grade”… excuse me? above your pay grade? are you not running for the position of the most powerful person in the country and at times, the world?… nothing is above your pay grade…

but more generally speaking… “One thing that I’m conviced of is that there is a moral and an ethical question to this issue”… um, thanks, Captain Obvious… “I am pro-choice… not because I’m pro-abortion, but because I don’t think that women make these decisions casually”… i’m sorry, but… SO WHAT?… if i choose to rob a bank, it’s a decision that i’m sure to wrestle with and struggle with and not something that i would do “casually” but it’s STILL WRONG OF ME TO DO…

He then goes on to explain that the real concern is how to reduce the number of abortions, which makes sense and i agree with him on that, there do need to be programs in place to help expectant mothers and parents who don’t know how they’ll raise their children once they arrive… support systems and all that… but education? i think everybody knows that having sex may result in pregnancy even if you’re not married or not out of high school… we don’t need more education, we need less escape clauses…

More brief things that stood out to me throughout the interview, besides the constant struggling to put words together, was what seems like an inconsistancy between preventative actions for abortions and later for orphans (“We need to reduce the number of orphans in the world”)… but a hesitation for preventative actions in defense of the nation militarily…

Also, it seems inconsistent to me that Obama keeps driving home “Whatever you do to the least of these”… as an important concept for America to embrace… providing for the least of these… but ignoring the unborn children… and another minor thing that i caught that raised my eyebrow is that Obama mentioned that his faith in God meant that “hopefully” his sins will be washed away…

McCain dabbled a little in the stump speeches, but he also told a lot of stories which resonate very well and, i think he further defined himself as a man and a candidate which is something that Obama continually shifts away from… in trying to be all things for everyone, i think he’s making himself a tin man with no heart or substance…

MY TIME IS UP

so that took longer than i expected and now i must go… you can check out the Brandon Heath Interview and this week’s album reviews in 25 Words or Less on the main page and i’ll be back with more later…

peace… love… bdg….

general13 Aug 2008 11:27 pm

time just doesn’t stop moving forward, does it?… perhaps it isn’t as long between entries as it seems, but it feels like i’ve been slacking… and i probably have been, but when it actually feels that way, then i know something’s up… anyway… i’ve done a little tweaking on the front page, trying to tidy things up, make them look prettier and such and there’s plenty more of that to come, but one step at a time… i also began work on some new ideas for content and hopefully they’ll turn out pretty well… and hopefully they’ll be up in the next day or so…

this morning, i started working through a devotional with little boy… he had gotten this devotional at backyard Bible club last week… and the first lesson was about Martha inviting Jesus and his disciples over to her house and all that went with it… and, being a devotional, it asks questions of the reader… and one of the questions was, “If Jesus came to your house, what would be the first thing you would say to Him?”… and, i kid you not, but i was floored by little boy’s answer… the first thing he would say? “I love you, God”… theology from the mouth of a five year old…

now, to be fair, i’m pretty sure he’d follow that up with “What did you bring me?”, but hey, it’s still an awesome bit of child-like faith…

HOWLING AT THE MOON
to the tune of Wolves (Song of the Shepherd’s Dog) – Iron & Wine

House of Wolves
by Matt Bronleewe

You may be shocked to learn that i’ve finished this book already… that’s right, the whole 315 pages or so only took me about a week… and that’s mainly because i could hardly put the thing down… the binding is laced with super glue so, it sticks to your hands… seriously, though, Matt Bronleewe spins a fantastic tale of adventure and intrigue, suspense and action that i was anticipating each new chapter… now, i’m anticipating the next few promised books in the August Adams series…

I don’t want to give away the plot or anything, but House of Wolves deals with an ancient book with powerful mysteries, a secret society seeking world domination, riddles, mysteries and spear… i did have a minor gripe with the story in that it seemed to abandon a plot line that i thought it would continue, but it doesn’t really detract from the story at all… i’d say that it’s along the same genre lines as the National Treasure franchise, the Indiana Jones franchise (at least the original trilogy) and the like… but don’t think for one instant that being in a similar genre makes the August Adams series a ripoff by any means… this is a great, original book and it’s clear that a lot of research went into it…

in fact, i was reminded of when The Da Vinci Code was hot on the market and spurring on boycotts and such and i couldn’t help but think that this was the appropriate response to such a book/movie… rather than more Christians coordinating protests, we need more folks like Matt Bronleewe creating media that rivals whatever the latest controversy is…

House of Wolves hit the shelves yesterday and it’s got a full-force recommendation from me…

THESE FIVE RINGS
to the tune of Olympic Fanfare and Theme – Boston Pops Orchestra & John Williams

okay, i have to talk a little bit about the Olympics since it’s pretty much everywhere you look… i heard something ridiculous like NBC and company are broadcasting five times the amount of coverage as hours in the day… i suppose that includes commercials and commentary and such, but yowsas… that’s a lot of coverage… and it’s still unbelievably frustrating in my opinion…

anyway, before i get started with any specifics, is it just me or does anyone else expect a TIE Fighter fly-over whenever you hear the Olympic theme song… just reminds me so much of the Star Wars theme… okay, so, i’ve watched my share of the Olympic events thus far and it’s enjoyable as ever… i don’t think there’s ever any other time that i could actually enjoy watching things like gymnastics or kayaking… the swimming has been really fun to watch as well – some incredibly close races and, of course, lots of golds for Mr. Phelps… hmm… i wonder why no one’s played on the Mission Impossible theme with him and his quest for the most medals ever…

which brings me to my point… what the heck is wrong with the Olympics these days?… i remember when it was about nations coming together, laying down arms as it may be and celebrating atheletic achievement in various disciplines… maybe i’m naive, but i don’t think it even mattered so much as to which country won, but it was a time when our common interest – that of bettering ourselves as humankind… the five rings of the emblem stand for passion, faith, victory, work ethic, and sportsmanship… the design represents a unity, a joining together of all nations…

Somewhere along the lines, it all became about the medal count… one more chance for “my” country to be better than “your” country… one more way to exert some sort of power over someone else… certainly those competing still have a sense of comradery, but it’s really just resolved down to one thing… did “we” win more than “you”… and i think that’s a large part of why i have a hard time getting excited about the Olympics these days… why i think people don’t really care as much any more… it’s not quite as exciting as it used to be… it’s not quite what it used to be…

THE READING ROOM
to the tune of Saint and Sinner – Derek Webb

Updated list for Mark Lee’s Summer Reading Club

So, i’m getting to a point where i may have a dry spell from finishing any books for a week or so… hopefully, i can get caught up on the reviews… (i still have three to do, i think)… Also, i just today got a copy of Sinner by Ted Dekker… i’ve never read a Ted Dekker book… and this is why… they’re all tied into each other and i have to start back at the beginning, but i haven’t gotten the Circle Trilogy yet… this book is like the ninth in the Book of History series, apparently and Ted says that it stands on its own… perhaps we’ll see…

Completed…


Working through…
Jesus Wants to Save Christians (Bell / Golden) [about 50 pages left]
The Parent You Want to Be (Parrott) [about 150 pages left]
New Way to Be Human (Peacock) [about 200 pages left]
Quiet Strength (Dungy) [about 280 pages left]
My Name Is Russell Fink (Snyder) [about 280 pages left]
At the Crossroads (Peacock)
Deliver Us from Evelyn (Wells)
The Two Towers (Tolkien)
UnChristian (Kinnaman & Lyons)
FlashBang (Steele)
Sinner (Dekker)

FULL LIST HERE

TH-TH-THAT’S ALL FOLKS

okay, my time is up… i’m sure there’s Olympics on or something… coming soon are some new features, new tweaks and my list of the songs that changed the church… i’m still waiting for some of your lists… come on now, people… let’s get cracking…

peace… love… bdg….

Bookshelf&general&pop culture&reviews13 Aug 2008 11:27 pm

time just doesn’t stop moving forward, does it?… perhaps it isn’t as long between entries as it seems, but it feels like i’ve been slacking… and i probably have been, but when it actually feels that way, then i know something’s up… anyway… i’ve done a little tweaking on the front page, trying to tidy things up, make them look prettier and such and there’s plenty more of that to come, but one step at a time… i also began work on some new ideas for content and hopefully they’ll turn out pretty well… and hopefully they’ll be up in the next day or so…

this morning, i started working through a devotional with little boy… he had gotten this devotional at backyard Bible club last week… and the first lesson was about Martha inviting Jesus and his disciples over to her house and all that went with it… and, being a devotional, it asks questions of the reader… and one of the questions was, “If Jesus came to your house, what would be the first thing you would say to Him?”… and, i kid you not, but i was floored by little boy’s answer… the first thing he would say? “I love you, God”… theology from the mouth of a five year old…

now, to be fair, i’m pretty sure he’d follow that up with “What did you bring me?”, but hey, it’s still an awesome bit of child-like faith…

HOWLING AT THE MOON
to the tune of Wolves (Song of the Shepherd’s Dog) – Iron & Wine

House of Wolves
by Matt Bronleewe

You may be shocked to learn that i’ve finished this book already… that’s right, the whole 315 pages or so only took me about a week… and that’s mainly because i could hardly put the thing down… the binding is laced with super glue so, it sticks to your hands… seriously, though, Matt Bronleewe spins a fantastic tale of adventure and intrigue, suspense and action that i was anticipating each new chapter… now, i’m anticipating the next few promised books in the August Adams series…

I don’t want to give away the plot or anything, but House of Wolves deals with an ancient book with powerful mysteries, a secret society seeking world domination, riddles, mysteries and spear… i did have a minor gripe with the story in that it seemed to abandon a plot line that i thought it would continue, but it doesn’t really detract from the story at all… i’d say that it’s along the same genre lines as the National Treasure franchise, the Indiana Jones franchise (at least the original trilogy) and the like… but don’t think for one instant that being in a similar genre makes the August Adams series a ripoff by any means… this is a great, original book and it’s clear that a lot of research went into it…

in fact, i was reminded of when The Da Vinci Code was hot on the market and spurring on boycotts and such and i couldn’t help but think that this was the appropriate response to such a book/movie… rather than more Christians coordinating protests, we need more folks like Matt Bronleewe creating media that rivals whatever the latest controversy is…

House of Wolves hit the shelves yesterday and it’s got a full-force recommendation from me…

THESE FIVE RINGS
to the tune of Olympic Fanfare and Theme – Boston Pops Orchestra & John Williams

okay, i have to talk a little bit about the Olympics since it’s pretty much everywhere you look… i heard something ridiculous like NBC and company are broadcasting five times the amount of coverage as hours in the day… i suppose that includes commercials and commentary and such, but yowsas… that’s a lot of coverage… and it’s still unbelievably frustrating in my opinion…

anyway, before i get started with any specifics, is it just me or does anyone else expect a TIE Fighter fly-over whenever you hear the Olympic theme song… just reminds me so much of the Star Wars theme… okay, so, i’ve watched my share of the Olympic events thus far and it’s enjoyable as ever… i don’t think there’s ever any other time that i could actually enjoy watching things like gymnastics or kayaking… the swimming has been really fun to watch as well – some incredibly close races and, of course, lots of golds for Mr. Phelps… hmm… i wonder why no one’s played on the Mission Impossible theme with him and his quest for the most medals ever…

which brings me to my point… what the heck is wrong with the Olympics these days?… i remember when it was about nations coming together, laying down arms as it may be and celebrating atheletic achievement in various disciplines… maybe i’m naive, but i don’t think it even mattered so much as to which country won, but it was a time when our common interest – that of bettering ourselves as humankind… the five rings of the emblem stand for passion, faith, victory, work ethic, and sportsmanship… the design represents a unity, a joining together of all nations…

Somewhere along the lines, it all became about the medal count… one more chance for “my” country to be better than “your” country… one more way to exert some sort of power over someone else… certainly those competing still have a sense of comradery, but it’s really just resolved down to one thing… did “we” win more than “you”… and i think that’s a large part of why i have a hard time getting excited about the Olympics these days… why i think people don’t really care as much any more… it’s not quite as exciting as it used to be… it’s not quite what it used to be…

THE READING ROOM
to the tune of Saint and Sinner – Derek Webb

Updated list for Mark Lee’s Summer Reading Club

So, i’m getting to a point where i may have a dry spell from finishing any books for a week or so… hopefully, i can get caught up on the reviews… (i still have three to do, i think)… Also, i just today got a copy of Sinner by Ted Dekker… i’ve never read a Ted Dekker book… and this is why… they’re all tied into each other and i have to start back at the beginning, but i haven’t gotten the Circle Trilogy yet… this book is like the ninth in the Book of History series, apparently and Ted says that it stands on its own… perhaps we’ll see…

Completed…

Working through…
Jesus Wants to Save Christians (Bell / Golden) [about 50 pages left]
The Parent You Want to Be (Parrott) [about 150 pages left]
New Way to Be Human (Peacock) [about 200 pages left]
Quiet Strength (Dungy) [about 280 pages left]
My Name Is Russell Fink (Snyder) [about 280 pages left]
At the Crossroads (Peacock)
Deliver Us from Evelyn (Wells)
The Two Towers (Tolkien)
UnChristian (Kinnaman & Lyons)
FlashBang (Steele)
Sinner (Dekker)

FULL LIST HERE

TH-TH-THAT’S ALL FOLKS

okay, my time is up… i’m sure there’s Olympics on or something… coming soon are some new features, new tweaks and my list of the songs that changed the church… i’m still waiting for some of your lists… come on now, people… let’s get cracking…

peace… love… bdg….

Free Music&news08 Aug 2008 03:43 pm

Here’s something just those of you who read here… well, by that i mean, i’m not cross-posting it anywhere… anyone can take advantage of it… fine… you get the idea…

Anyway… Phil Wickham just released a live CD available as a FREE DOWNLOAD on his website… it’s called SingAlong and i’ve downloaded it but i haven’t listened to it yet…

The catch, of course is that they want your email to add you to their mailing list… so, if you cry about that sort of thing, you may not want to check it out… for the brave, though, the ones who understand the delete button… check it out at http://philwickham.com/singalong/… and have a super duper weekend…

peace… love… bdg…

general07 Aug 2008 05:05 pm

What’s up world… what is up?… well, i’m trying to get the ball rolling here and over on the front page andit’s no small task… i’ve been thinking through a lot of how i do things and what things i should focus on and what dreams and goals i should pursue and which should be left flopping on the floorboards of the fishing boat or tossed back into the lake…

today, though, there’s some new content on the front page, a conversation in the making, some movie thoughts, book thoughts, and… are you ready for some football?… and more… so let’s get going…

FAVRE AND AWAY
to the tune of Trade Winds – Frank Sinatra

Stop me if you’ve heard this before… an athelete retires after one of his best seasons ever and then… wait a minute nope… heeeeee’s BACK…. okay, this time it’s football and this time it’s Brett Favre… after much speculation immediately following his retirement at the end of last season, Favre is back, ready to suit up in the familiar green jersey… as excited teammate Donald Driver said, “He’s back in business

but wait… something’s different… there’s more to the story… in fact, that green looks like it’s a different shade… oh… Favre’s a Jet… didn’t see that coming…

THE FATE OF THE DANCEFLOOR
to the tune of
Dance or Die – Family Force 5)

i meant to do a quick look at this album earlier, but now that it’s only a couple weeks away from releasing, time is even more of the essence… well, i’ve been listening to this one for a while now and the most obvious thing to say about it is that it’s totally different from their last album… different label, different style, different everything…

Well, that’s the easy button… and i’ll pass on that… remember that time that Family Force 5 kept saying over and over how they wanted to bring the party back into the music scene?… well, their last album really rocked out and gave plenty of people fits as they tried to categorize the group and this time around… well, it’s just a non-stop party… you’ve got much less classic, southern rock, much more synth, much more euro-pop, much more volume and they’ve cranked the crunk way past eleven… it’s certainly a fun ride, but i’m sure that it’s not for everyone…

THE PEARL
to the tune of Love’s Done Something – Casting Pearls

So we watched a rather odd movie last night called Girl With a Pearl Earring… i did not pick the movie, it picked me… well, enough of that… but here’s the thing… Colin Firth of Pride and Prejudice fame stars as Johannes Vermeer, the famous Dutch artist and Scarlett Johansson stars as one of his house maids, Griet… as the story unfolds, it was interesting to see how the two interacted with each other… Scarlett is obviously an attractive gal and has gained the notice of some nefarious characters in the film and Vermeer takes her in and allows her to assist him with painting… it seems that he’s actually protected her from rape by agreeing to paint her and then, by the end, Vermeer’s wife who has a rather creepy countenance about her finds out about the painting and throws Griet out of the house…

Afterwards, we were talking about the movie, because it wasn’t perhaps the best film we’d seen, but a question about the relationship between Vermeer and Griet came up… whether or not he liked her inappropriately or not… and there’s a scene when the wife is yelling at Vermeer, asking why he would paint Griet and not her which is pivotal to the movie… his response was that she understood… and in that moment, i got a picture of Jesus responding to the guests at a certain banquet who were pretty ticked off about Mary washing His feet with expensive perfume…

“Why would you let her do this Master? It’s seems like such a waste!”

“She gets it. She understands what’s going on while the rest of you – even my closest companions – are clueless.”

i don’t know, it was just an interesting picture of an artist preserving beauty and innocence and rewarding someone who honestly tried to follow and understand art… i don’t know that i’d recommend the movie, but it was interesting in that way at least…

PRINCE CHARMING
to the tune of The Kings and Queens of Old – Harry Gregson-Williams (from Prince Caspian)

Prince Caspian
by CS Lewis

Okay, it’s about time that i start catching up on these reviews, right?… first up is Prince Caspian, which continues the Narnian saga… and it’s easy to see why they chose this book to continue the big screen adventures of these zany kids and their wild escapades… seriously though, it was better than i remember from the days of my youth and it’s got all kinds of intrigue and adventure… tweaks the farthest reaches of your imagination and finds the right moments to poke you back to reality…

The standout jab for me came from Lucy, i believe, as she was talking with Susan as they trudged through the thick woods… she asks a rather poignant question about what might happen if humankind resolved themselves to the basest of existence over time as the animals of Narnia had given up talking and acting appropriately… it’s a stark glimpse at what the world might look like as our collective conscience continues to erode… great book though… i wish i had gone to see the film while it was in theaters, but now i can’t wait for the DVD to come out…

THE READING ROOM
to the tune of Wolves (Song of the Shepherd’s Dog) – Iron & Wine

Updated list for Mark Lee’s Summer Reading Club

Okay, so i still have two more reviews to go to catch up… well, scratch that… i just finished another book today… that’s right… i’m on FIRE… Searching for God Knows What has officially been added to the completed pile… i have so many thoughts about that book that i’m going to let it stew for a bit before i offer any formalized thoughts on it… anyway, this is the updated list… i fully expect to be finished with House of Wolves this weekend as i can’t hardly bear to put it down…

On a somewhat related note… Mark Lee recently celebrated the birth of his new daughter, Katherine Marlow Lee, so between that and touring the new Third Day album, he’s been a bit tied up… Congrats to him and his family…

Completed…


Working through…
Jesus Wants to Save Christians (Bell / Golden) [about 130 pages left]
The Parent You Want to Be (Parrott) [about 150 pages left]
House of Wolves (Bronleewe) [about 150 pages left]
New Way to Be Human (Peacock) [about 200 pages left]
At the Crossroads (Peacock)
Deliver Us from Evelyn (Wells)
The Two Towers (Tolkien)
Quiet Strength (Dungy)
UnChristian (Kinnaman & Lyons)
My Name Is Russell Fink (Snyder)

FULL LIST HERE

DON’T GO AWAY MAD
to the tune of Moving On – Needtobreathe

Oh, jeepers… i just realized i forgot something… one second… ah, never mind, i’ll do it here… on the front page… we have a pretty interesting interview with Erwin McManus, pastor of Mosaic and author of such books as, Wide Awake, which is on my completed pile… we talked largely about the book and dreams and things of such nature, but we also had a few laughs and veered off topic now and again… i felt like it was one of my better interviews though, so, you can say yay or nay after you’ve read it…

Also littering the front page is a brand new Walk TRu… but it’s unlike any other walk TRu i’ve ever done… i think… it’s based on this new album that Starsong put out this week that names what they considered to be the thirteen CCM songs that most changed the church… now, i know “change” is vague and “church” is vague and “CCM” is kind of vague, for that matter… but i’m asking you to get involved… tell me what 13 CCM songs YOU think have had the biggest impact on the Church… hopefully that rewording has made it clearer… but, yeah, tell me why you agree or disagree with their choices and tell me what should’ve made it… you can leave your thoughts here in the comments or email them to TRuMoments [at] GMail.com…

my thoughts are coming soon… let the discussion begin…

peace… love… bdg….

Bookshelf&front page&general&inTRuviews&pop culture&reviews&walkTRu07 Aug 2008 05:02 pm

What’s up world… what is up?… well, i’m trying to get the ball rolling here and over on the front page andit’s no small task… i’ve been thinking through a lot of how i do things and what things i should focus on and what dreams and goals i should pursue and which should be left flopping on the floorboards of the fishing boat or tossed back into the lake…

today, though, there’s some new content on the front page, a conversation in the making, some movie thoughts, book thoughts, and… are you ready for some football?… and more… so let’s get going…

FAVRE AND AWAY
to the tune of Trade Winds – Frank Sinatra

Stop me if you’ve heard this before… an athelete retires after one of his best seasons ever and then… wait a minute nope… heeeeee’s BACK…. okay, this time it’s football and this time it’s Brett Favre… after much speculation immediately following his retirement at the end of last season, Favre is back, ready to suit up in the familiar green jersey… as excited teammate Donald Driver said, “He’s back in business

but wait… something’s different… there’s more to the story… in fact, that green looks like it’s a different shade… oh… Favre’s a Jet… didn’t see that coming…

THE FATE OF THE DANCEFLOOR
to the tune of
Dance or Die – Family Force 5)

i meant to do a quick look at this album earlier, but now that it’s only a couple weeks away from releasing, time is even more of the essence… well, i’ve been listening to this one for a while now and the most obvious thing to say about it is that it’s totally different from their last album… different label, different style, different everything…

Well, that’s the easy button… and i’ll pass on that… remember that time that Family Force 5 kept saying over and over how they wanted to bring the party back into the music scene?… well, their last album really rocked out and gave plenty of people fits as they tried to categorize the group and this time around… well, it’s just a non-stop party… you’ve got much less classic, southern rock, much more synth, much more euro-pop, much more volume and they’ve cranked the crunk way past eleven… it’s certainly a fun ride, but i’m sure that it’s not for everyone…

THE PEARL
to the tune of Love’s Done Something – Casting Pearls

So we watched a rather odd movie last night called Girl With a Pearl Earring… i did not pick the movie, it picked me… well, enough of that… but here’s the thing… Colin Firth of Pride and Prejudice fame stars as Johannes Vermeer, the famous Dutch artist and Scarlett Johansson stars as one of his house maids, Griet… as the story unfolds, it was interesting to see how the two interacted with each other… Scarlett is obviously an attractive gal and has gained the notice of some nefarious characters in the film and Vermeer takes her in and allows her to assist him with painting… it seems that he’s actually protected her from rape by agreeing to paint her and then, by the end, Vermeer’s wife who has a rather creepy countenance about her finds out about the painting and throws Griet out of the house…

Afterwards, we were talking about the movie, because it wasn’t perhaps the best film we’d seen, but a question about the relationship between Vermeer and Griet came up… whether or not he liked her inappropriately or not… and there’s a scene when the wife is yelling at Vermeer, asking why he would paint Griet and not her which is pivotal to the movie… his response was that she understood… and in that moment, i got a picture of Jesus responding to the guests at a certain banquet who were pretty ticked off about Mary washing His feet with expensive perfume…

“Why would you let her do this Master? It’s seems like such a waste!”

“She gets it. She understands what’s going on while the rest of you – even my closest companions – are clueless.”

i don’t know, it was just an interesting picture of an artist preserving beauty and innocence and rewarding someone who honestly tried to follow and understand art… i don’t know that i’d recommend the movie, but it was interesting in that way at least…

PRINCE CHARMING
to the tune of The Kings and Queens of Old – Harry Gregson-Williams (from Prince Caspian)

Prince Caspian
by CS Lewis

Okay, it’s about time that i start catching up on these reviews, right?… first up is Prince Caspian, which continues the Narnian saga… and it’s easy to see why they chose this book to continue the big screen adventures of these zany kids and their wild escapades… seriously though, it was better than i remember from the days of my youth and it’s got all kinds of intrigue and adventure… tweaks the farthest reaches of your imagination and finds the right moments to poke you back to reality…

The standout jab for me came from Lucy, i believe, as she was talking with Susan as they trudged through the thick woods… she asks a rather poignant question about what might happen if humankind resolved themselves to the basest of existence over time as the animals of Narnia had given up talking and acting appropriately… it’s a stark glimpse at what the world might look like as our collective conscience continues to erode… great book though… i wish i had gone to see the film while it was in theaters, but now i can’t wait for the DVD to come out…

THE READING ROOM
to the tune of Wolves (Song of the Shepherd’s Dog) – Iron & Wine

Updated list for Mark Lee’s Summer Reading Club

Okay, so i still have two more reviews to go to catch up… well, scratch that… i just finished another book today… that’s right… i’m on FIRE… Searching for God Knows What has officially been added to the completed pile… i have so many thoughts about that book that i’m going to let it stew for a bit before i offer any formalized thoughts on it… anyway, this is the updated list… i fully expect to be finished with House of Wolves this weekend as i can’t hardly bear to put it down…

On a somewhat related note… Mark Lee recently celebrated the birth of his new daughter, Katherine Marlow Lee, so between that and touring the new Third Day album, he’s been a bit tied up… Congrats to him and his family…

Completed…

Working through…
Jesus Wants to Save Christians (Bell / Golden) [about 130 pages left]
The Parent You Want to Be (Parrott) [about 150 pages left]
House of Wolves (Bronleewe) [about 150 pages left]
New Way to Be Human (Peacock) [about 200 pages left]
At the Crossroads (Peacock)
Deliver Us from Evelyn (Wells)
The Two Towers (Tolkien)
Quiet Strength (Dungy)
UnChristian (Kinnaman & Lyons)
My Name Is Russell Fink (Snyder)

FULL LIST HERE

DON’T GO AWAY MAD
to the tune of Moving On – Needtobreathe

Oh, jeepers… i just realized i forgot something… one second… ah, never mind, i’ll do it here… on the front page… we have a pretty interesting interview with Erwin McManus, pastor of Mosaic and author of such books as, Wide Awake, which is on my completed pile… we talked largely about the book and dreams and things of such nature, but we also had a few laughs and veered off topic now and again… i felt like it was one of my better interviews though, so, you can say yay or nay after you’ve read it…

Also littering the front page is a brand new Walk TRu… but it’s unlike any other walk TRu i’ve ever done… i think… it’s based on this new album that Starsong put out this week that names what they considered to be the thirteen CCM songs that most changed the church… now, i know “change” is vague and “church” is vague and “CCM” is kind of vague, for that matter… but i’m asking you to get involved… tell me what 13 CCM songs YOU think have had the biggest impact on the Church… hopefully that rewording has made it clearer… but, yeah, tell me why you agree or disagree with their choices and tell me what should’ve made it… you can leave your thoughts here in the comments or email them to TRuMoments [at] GMail.com…

my thoughts are coming soon… let the discussion begin…

peace… love… bdg….