October 2011

Brad’s nos. 18, 19, 20: A Song of Ice and Fire vols. 1,2,&5

October 30, 2011 // 0 Comments

          After many years of keeping his fans waiting, Mr. Martin finally released A Dance with Dragons, book five in his 7 book series.  Those familiar with the series are probably aware of the significance of this; those that aren’t are probably shaking their heads incredulously and mumbling “silly fantasy nerds…”  I do enjoy a good fantasy novel, but outside of LOTR and Narnia, I haven’t read much.  But, if you were familiar with these stories, you would realize that you don’t need to be a fantasy nerd to realize that the many years waiting for Mr. Martin to release his books was torturous (I avoided much of this by getting on the bandwagon late).      These books are notorious for the fact that almost no character is safe.  Main characters die, are defeated, and usually what you hope/expect to happen doesn’t, in the most brutal and gut wrenching way.  There were multiple times where I would read an event only to stop and incredulously read it again to make sure that I actually read what I thought I read.  Mr. Martin is great at subverting expectations and fantasy tropes, setting the reader up to […]

Brad’s no. 17: The Next Story by Tim Challies

October 30, 2011 // 0 Comments

I read this book a while ago, just didn’t get a chance to write this review.  I was busy – hang on a sec – sorry just updating my status on Facebook.   Well, I just didn’t get to it.  This saddens me as it was a very thought provoking book and my review will not do it justice due to the lack of freshness in my mind.  Tim Challies, for a Canadian, does a deft job at analyzing the immense changes that have been wrought by technology in the last few years.  It is especially poignant considering his prominence as a blogger.  I consider myself a thinker; however this book really awakened me to the impact that screens (computer, phone, iPad, etc.) have on my life: how I learn, communicate, my attention span, etc.  Until reading this book my thoughts on such things revolved around the concept that technology was just one more thing vying for my attention.  I failed to see that the dawning digital era is not just an incremental change, but a sizable shift in how humans are interacting, both with each other and with knowledge in general. As someone who is intertwined with the tech […]

Mark’s #45 – Reckless Abandon: A Modern-Day Gospel Pioneer’s Exploits Among The Most Difficult To Reach People

October 30, 2011 // 0 Comments

Since John recently read and reviewed this book here, I won’t go into too much detail. I’ve always enjoyed missionary biographies.  These books challenge and encourage my own walk with Christ, remind me of the global call of the great commission (Mt. 28:19-20), and make me examine my life to see whether or not I believe what God says I should believe about life, death, eternity, and the worth of Jesus.  Most of these books detail the exploits of missionaries from long ago,  but in this book David Sitton tells his story of God’s faithfulness in our time in areas like Papua New Guinea and Mexico. As such, the challenge to missions seems even more real and tangible. I appreciate David’s life and desire to show that Jesus is worth any sacrifice.  I also appreciate David’s desire to help raise up and train young men and women to forsake everything to follow Jesus to the ends of the earth. Read the book and be challenged and encouraged! If you have never considered the possibility that God loves you and may have a wonderful plan for your death, perhaps you should (pg. 201). You can check out the ministry David started […]

JRF’s #35 – The True Adventures of the World’s Greatest Stuntman by Vic Armstrong

October 26, 2011 // 0 Comments

In a very real sense I was raised by the movies in which Vic Armstrong has spent his life making.  My childhood heroes were the likes of Indiana Jones, James Bond, Conan, and Superman – all of which were brought to life by Mr. Armstrong. The title is no over exaggeration as Vic Armstrong has literally either performed or coordinated the stunts on virtually every well known action film of the last 4 plus decades and continues to do so. This was a quick and fun read as Armstrong recounts behind the scenes stories, stunt inventions, his views on computer generated effects, near death stunt accidents, deadly stunt accidents, and the eccentric personalities he has had the pleasure of rubbing shoulders with (the chapter on Stanley Kubrick was bizarrely hilarious).   I read this while I was also reading Reckless Abandon by David Sitton.  I couldn’t help notice the sad contrast between the two author’s biographies.  Vic Armstrong has spent his life working with the idols of this world.  He has traveled the globe, had adventures, risked his life, and received much public recognition for his pioneering work. David Sitton on the other hand also traveled the globe, had adventures, […]

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