August 2014

Bookshelf22 Aug 2014 04:09 pm

Fearless – Eric Blehm

I read this book a long while ago. It moved me then and still moves me today when I consider the sacrifice and choices involved.

There are no spoilers in this book – you know Adam is going to die from page one – but it doesn’t really make it easier to swallow. And it all came flooding back when I finally watched LONE SURVIVOR the other day – a movie that details a similar mission referenced in FEARLESS.

Let’s back up for a second, though. FEARLESS is the story of Adam Brown, a troubled young man who struggled to find his place in the world before cleaning up his act, becoming a Navy SEAL, and sacrificing everything for his country. Everything you could expect. Nothing like you would expect. Heartwarming and heart breaking. Stirs up feelings of admiration and pride. A story of redemption and many questions of why.

This is definitely a book worth reading that will help you understand the people who risk their lives for the safety of others (including us). It’s a pretty captivating read and will certainly change the way you look at life.

Bookshelf22 Aug 2014 04:06 pm

No More Dragons – Jim Burgen

This book sounded really cool. I mean, dragons, right? Who doesn’t like books about dragons?

And then, when I realized it was a reference to the Narnia series, I was even more excited to read what Burgen had to say. And Burgen has a way with words (he IS a pastor, after all). So the book starts out very engaging and it draws the reader into the message from the jump.

That message is one of restoration and hope in the midst of hopelessness. So, what about the dragons? In NO MORE DRAGONS, we are the dragons. The choices that we make affects who we become (this is a lesson I teach at my sons every day). Some of those choices weigh on us like the scales of a fiery reptile, hardening us from emotional responses and harden us to what God is doing in the world around us.

These scales may take the form of anger towards others for a perceived (or real) injustice. Or it may be depression or other emotional scars that form a thick skin to protect ourselves from further damage. Whatever it may be, it hinders us in life. It prevents us from fulfilling our potential. And there’s nothing we can do about it.

But there is something that can be done about it, as Burgen reveals. That solution is the complete package of grace and truth, which comes in the form of Jesus. Jesus can “un-dragon” us and free us from our metaphorical scaly skin. It’s a painful process, but it’s the only way to ensure that there are no more dragons.

If if sounds like I’ve given everything this book has to offer away, you’re not thinking of the enjoyable anecdotes that carry the reader through the message.

Bookshelf22 Aug 2014 04:03 pm

Sticking Points – Hayden Craft

Finally, a book that says what we’ve all been thinking:

The next generation workforce is a bunch of young whippersnappers who don’t know what they’re doing. They sleep in, slack off, and refuse to contribute in a meaningful way. They have no loyalty and only care about themselves. In fact, they don’t even look up from the screen of their device of choice to realize there are other, actual people around them. And they need to get off my lawn.

Okay, so, STICKING POINTS doesn’t exactly say all that, but this is a poignant look at the generational misunderstandings that occur each and every day in offices all around the world. People retire later in life. Young adults opt out of college more often. The workforce currently contains members of four generations for the first time in history. And, with each generation, comes a different set of motivations, work ethic, outlook, perspective, and more. This can make for a very confusing and, at times, aggravating workplace.

Or, it can make for a vibrant, productive experience that can lead to new products and technical advancements.

Craft does a good job of explaining some of the differences and challenges this generational mix can present, as well as some methods for thriving in such a diverse environment. What I took away from this book most, however, was the affirmation of a Biblical concept: each generation is a direct result and response to the generation before. Whatever we teach those following us – whether intentionally or by default – is what they carry into their lives as they define their generation.

reviews&television08 Aug 2014 03:45 pm

VeggieTales presents Celery Night Fever

My kids have never known a world that didn’t include the comic stylings of a certain tomato and cucumber duo. And I’ve seen these two characters endure many ups and downs and hardships and struggles that made it seem like they were headed to the juicer (so to speak). Fortunately, they’ve survived and continue to star in highly enjoyable films that find the funny bone of both young and old.

And though this particular episode deals with disco and an era that pre-dates my boys, the jokes and the quality of entertainment aren’t tied to the time period. So, the references that go over their heads are funny to me and the simultaneous antics are funny to them (and me). In short, Celery Night Fever is a story about relationships and exclusion, revenge and forgiveness. It’s poignant and offers a great illustration. Plus, it features the voice of Terry Crews, the Old Spice guy. Well, one of the Old Spice guys.

I keep hearing rumors of good things coming down the pike for the VeggieTales brand and this release is a prime example of why these veggies have stood the test of time. I can’t wait to see what else is in store going forward.

peace… love… bdg…