Excited For Life

Hey Everyone,

I am really excited for youth group tonight

I am really excited for LOST to start (Jesus invented TIVO for pastors, I just know it.)

I am really excited for my Family and our Future

I am really excited.

I had a whole brain dump post that I was going to do, but I wasn’t that excited about it.   So I did this instead.  What are you excited about?

So I’ve been reading a lot lately

It’s only January and already I’ve posted six book reviews.  Now I’m not a professional reviewer, and I could probably do a lot more processing of each book as I review them but that’s just not how I role.  I hope that these reviews are helpful to folks, I know they are helpful to me, and that’s really why I blog, to help me first.

But why o why am I getting so much reading done?  two reasons

1) Writer’s Strike.  right now the only thing on TV is “reality TV”, and I am growing more and more out of favor with all reality TV.  So without new shows like the Office, 24, LOST (starting this week), and such, I just haven’t been watching a ton of TV, and when Kathy is watching her reality TV, I am more than happy to be with her and work on a book that I need to get through.  So I’m bummed that I’m missing out on new episodes of the office, and 24 is being delayed, but I think I’ll manage.

2)  Kathy is working 3 evenings a week.  Kathy has a great Job, and it has acutally been really flexible for here and our family.  But she’s gone three nights a week, so instead of playing Guitar Hero all night (just some of the night) I put on some actual music and read.  I put Judah to bed, and then start working on a book.

That’s why I’m reading so much.  I don’t know how many books I will finish before the year is over, but on this track if I finish 6 books a month (crazy) I will have read (doing the math in my head) Something like 100 books.  (I’m not good at math, I was always more gooder at english).  That many books probably won’t happen because like all good things this writer strike will probably come to an end, and then who knows what will happen.

I would love to hear what y’all are reading.  Anything you think I should pick up?  I’m currently reading through the books I’ve had for a while but haven’t finished.  Next up is the Jesus Way by Eugene Peterson.  But hit up a comment and let me know what your reading.

Going All The Way – Review

In Keeping with my read one book at a time.  I finished the Shack and then Promptly finished up Going All The Way, by Craig Groeschel (Lead Pastor of LifeChurch.tv).

I’ve had this book for some time, and I had started it before the new year, and so that’s why I was able to finish it so Closely to The Shack.

Going All The Way is a well written look at relationships and priorities.  And I liked the title so much that I am going to Use it for a series that we are launching this week.  (Full Disclosure is a good thing.)  It starts at looking at what truly is important as people prepare for marriage, and then progresses to finding the right person, setting the right priorites, commited to each other, true intimacy with your spouse, and a lifelong covenant.

Great book.  Having heard Craig’s sermons before he writes just like he preaches, so the book goes quickly, and really gets to the point.  I never felt like he was drawing out the point for no good reason.  There are a lot of things that are applicable to Middle School and High School students.

Having been a 12 year old boy before, I wish I would have had a resource like this to help me set my priorities better.  Growing up I was told that sex is bad, girls are danger and don’t do anything stupid.  But somehow I missed, or it wasn’t really presented, that our relationship with God should be our top Priority.  It wasn’t until my Senior Year in High School that I was convinced of this point.

So Youth Pastors, College Pastors, Singles Pastors, Pastors Pastors, I would recommend you pick up this book.

The Shack – Review

I probably never would have picked up this book if it were not for my friend Robert Doell’s recomendation.  Robert works at Lifeway and everytime I go in there he has something new to recommend.  Which is great, because I like reading books that others have read.  So the most recent recommendation was The Shack by William P. Young.

Now this book had several things going against it from the get-go.  The biggest hinderance is that I don’t really dig fiction lately, and I don’t know if this was fiction or not, but it’s kind of marketed that way.

It was kind of hard to really get into, because the story took a while to set up, and I really didn’t understand why I should care about this Mack guy (the main character).  But I was comitted to finishing it so that I could have an intelligent conversation about it, as it is growing in popularity.

After getting through the set-up, I really don’t want to spoil this book for anyone, so please be patient.  Mack goes to a cabin where he experienced a great tragedy in his family, and he has an encounter with the Trinity.

The way the author presents the trinity is fascinating.  The most intriguing thing about it all is their relationship/community/love-fest.  They are presented as unique in character but one.   It’s pretty cool.

But this book is really great as it works through the issues that Mack has to deal with to move past the tragedy in his past and with his family.  The book talks about grace, forgiveness, redemption, free-will, salvation, and all kinds of good stuff.  So it’s a pretty heady book if you get way into it.  But it’s still very accessible.  That’s probably the greatest strength of using the story format.  It allows for the point to be made with out beating the reader over the head with it.

This would be a great book for a book club, or for people who are going through recovery programs, and even grief counseling.  So should we read it?  Sure.  Are people going to disagree with it?  Yes.  Are people going to take a lot of it way to seriously?  Probably.  But we can still get a lot of great truth and encouragement from this story.