Category Archives: mark

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Mark’s #6 – When God Comes Calling by Ted Fletcher (2010)

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Ted Fletcher had climbed the corporate ladder and had achieved the American Dream. Yet God began to burden Ted’s heart for something far greater than these worldly benchmarks.  God gave Ted God’s passion for the nations. Though later in life, with older kids, Ted and Peggy Fletcher sought out ways to go to the mission field to bring the gospel of grace to all the peoples of the earth.  However, as they applied to several mission agencies at the time, they were turned back and told they were not suited to join these organization due to age, or family, or formal training.  The Fletcher’s discouragement turned to joy when a friend suggested that they start their own mission organization – Pioneers (which I am now a missionary with).

This book is the story of that calling and the early days of seeking to fulfill this godly vision.  While it is great to read the stories of missionaries from bygone eras, it is also tremendously encouraging to read about modern day Pioneers and their faithful God.   If you wan to be encouraged and challenged, read this book.

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Mark’s #5 – Children of Men by P.D. James

Unknown-2Set in 2021, this dystopian tale is about what happens to the world when in 1995, infertility completely covers the globe, for an unknown reason.   This event spawns chaos and societal degradation.  Most of the world’s governments collapse, while England holds out with strict laws, immigration policies, punishments, suicide rituals for the elderly,  and demeaning intrusions into the private lives of its citizens such as force fertility exams and government sponsored pornography shops.

Against this a small band of resistors tries to rise up and restore dignity and hope.  The key to this hope comes in the form of a pregnant woman (the first one over 25 years).

On the plane ride from Tokyo to America I had the opportunity to watch the 2006 movie based on the novel.  In and of itself, the movie was ok, but is often the case, the plot changes only subtracted from the original storyline.  At times, reading the book I got chills as I was terrofied by a phrase or turn in the story.  Furthermore, the culmination of the book was far superior to the movie.

I love a good dystopian future (don’t ask me why). This book ranks up there with some of the best.

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Mark’s #4 – Insane City by Dave Barry

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Dave Barry is an author who is know for his hilarious insights on everything from money, to traveling in Japan, to advice on being a guy, and much more.  He spent years writing humor articles for the Miami Herald as well as several books. This book is unlike his other works however, because this book is a novel, and a funny one at that.

Insane City is the story of an average Joe who is about to marry into one of the world’s most wealthy families.  The wedding is to take place at a fancy five star hotel in Miami.  The bachelor party begins a couple days before, and immediately takes a wrong turn.  Imagine something along the lines of the movie The Hangover.  For example, at one point in the story, an Orangutang plays a major role in the story.

Dave Barry paints a great picture of many of the bizarre aspects of this Insane City, while also keeping the plot moving along with very funny twists and turns.

If you’re looking for a fun beach read this summer, add this to your list.

*Note: I recall now that there is a bit of crude humor employed in a few scenes in the book along with profanity.

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Mark’s #3 – No Easy Day by Mark Owen (2012)

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I’ve fallen way behind on my reviews, so it’s time to crank out a few short ones.  No Easy Day is a book about what it’s like to be a Navy Seal, some interesting stories from field experiences of the author, and the mission to kill Osama Bin Laden.  I found the book engaging, as the reader is able to see through the eyes of some of America’s finest warriors.  If you’re into that sort of thing, you’ll enjoy this book.

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Mark’s #2 – Fearless by Eric Blehm (2012)

fearless12I will always count it as a great privilege in my life to have been able to share the gospel with the U.S. military community through the ministry of Cadence International.  Those that serve our country in the military are some of the best, selfless, and courageous people on the planet.   I spend countless hours talking to guys about the experiences they’ve had and missions they’ve been on as they have fought for our freedom.   Whenever possible, I try to read books that give me deeper insight into the lives and mission of these warriors.  Fearless is one of those books.

Fearless is the biography of U.S. Navy SEAL Adam Brown.  As a toddler, Adam Brown showed almost no regard for his own safety, along with a caring and protective spirit of those he loved and those in need of protection.  Throughout his life, what most people would consider crazy, Adam considered a fun challenge.  For example, when he was in high school he jumped from a moving vehicle, off the I-70 bridge into a lake 50 feet below near his home in Arkansas.  At another time, he confronted a man with a loaded shotgun while protecting a friend of his who had been knifed in a fight.

Per Adam’s request, this story also details the depth to which his life went as he delved deeply into the world of cocaine, crack and heroine addiction.  Constantly in and out of jail, lying, stealing, and cheating friends and family to get his next fix, Adam’s life repeatedly hit rock-bottom.  This battle and temptation would be a constant in Adam’s life for many years.  During one episode in jail, Adam confessed Christ as Lord and Savior and tried to live a life following him.  He found some success and joy in Christ, but then there would be repeated failures, and the vicious cycle would continue.

By God’s grace, and the help from the father of his best childhood friend, Adam was allowed to join the Navy and try out to become a SEAL.  After becoming a SEAL, Adam took it to the next level by becoming a DEVGRU SEAL on from SEAL Team Six.  In spite of a long list of injuries that would have retired almost everyone else (a complete eye removal, a shattered hand from a humvee accident), Adam excelled at what he did, and he believed whole-heartedly in the mission and in America.

Clearly Adam loved his family, and his country, and was a passionate follower of Christ.  He paid the ultimate price of the sacrifice of his life while on a mission to kill a terrorist on March 17th, 2010. Rest in peace Adam.  Thank you for your sacrifice.

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