A friend of mine gave me this book, As You Wish (Inconceivable Tales from the Making of the Princess Bride) at Christmas with an inscription on the inA friend of mine gave me this book, As You Wish (Inconceivable Tales from the Making of the Princess Bride) at Christmas with an inscription on the inside that said, “Let’s make more stories.” This friend of mine loves the stories of hope and redemption in how Jesus can constantly change us into the people we want and need to be.
First, let me start with AS YOU WISH. I am one of the people that Cary Elwes talks about in the book who didn’t even see the movie in theaters, but later found The Princess Bride on VHS (VHS were these large tapes that resembled large music cassettes…and those were…you know what, never mind). I later bought it on DVD and now own a digital download because the movie is simply perfect. A farm hand, a maiden, a giant, a sword master, a six-fingered man, love, revenge, betrayal, a magician, and a loud-mouth Sicilian.
The book (As You Wish) on the other hand, not as good as the movie. Don’t get me wrong, the book is fun, but at times it almost seems that Cary Elwes goes out of his way to gush all over everyone, repeatedly. I think I heard the same complements about everyone on the cast in at least 3 different sections of the book (unless it was about Andre the Giant or Rob Reiner, then it was in at least 10 places in the book).
There were some great stories, but much of the book felt like filler to make it long enough for print. After reading the book I didn’t have nostalgia to go back and watch the movie, I actually just googled “blooper reel.” One thing the book does admirably is set the stage for friendship and how memories live with us long after the events that make them transpire.
I think it is a good remembrance for life. I find myself often, in the midst of laughing with friends, thinking “remember this, it doesn’t last forever.” There was a time that every Sunday night 8-16 people would gather at my house for dinner and a movie (one of these was the Princess Bride), this lasted for about 4 years. I remember about year 3 thinking, “This will end, enjoy these moments while they last.” Today, I work with some of those people, some have moved away, others have children, and though we do not gather like we used to, those memories still influence my view of friends and community.
I think it is important for us to remember that life is fleeting, the writer of Ecclesiastes says, “it is a vapor.” A vapor is what get sprayed out of a water bottle when the cap is tight enough that only mist can come out…it’s there and gone. Only God knows what comes after us. Solomon, in Ecclesiastes, reminds us that God has placed eternity in the hearts of men, our souls long for more life…and not just life, but for all the world to made right.
I doubt we will ever see the whole world made right until Jesus redeems all things, but I do believe that times when we are making good memories, good stories, are when we feel the rightness of what Jesus is doing the most. We were made for communion with God and one another. When those two things intersect there is nothing better…and our souls know it.
So, let’s make new, better, and ongoing memories. It is like Jesus reminded us that all of the Scriptures can be summed up in loving God first and loving people. When that happens everything else falls into place. ...more
I have typically been an Anne Lamotte fan from other people’s books. What I mean is that so many people quote her that I really didn’t feel like I neeI have typically been an Anne Lamotte fan from other people’s books. What I mean is that so many people quote her that I really didn’t feel like I needed to read her myself. Often though, as is always the case, when we quote people it is usually from the parts that only speak to us and so get skewed in the translation.
Recently I was reading a book on the soul, it took a bit of getting in to, but it was still good (by the end). In this book they quoted from Anne Lamotte’s “Help, Thanks Wow” so I decided to read it. I guess if you want this review wrapped up in one sentence it would be thus: Not much “help,” undirected “thanks,” and “wow” I hope my life is deeper than this book.
I know, as is always the case, people will get mad at me for not loving everything Anne Lamotte, but please stop before you write something nasty to me and remember, I am not judging her heart, just the words in this book. The words of the book I found devoid of any passion and simply words for words sake.
At the outset it seems as though she tries to placate everyone from every manner of “faith,” accept for Christians who she likes to poke in the eye and claim they are all self-righteous for believing in something fixed and unchanging. I know Lamotte would call herself a believer, and while I believe at times Christians need to be called out for their stupidity, we also need to speak of where the goodness is as well. Lamotte seems to go out of her way to always reference God as “she” for no real purpose that I can discern (other than to try to win points with those who dislike a “Father” view of God).
She writes this book for those who have any manner of faith, from those who worship mountains, to old chairs, to themselves. It seems as though the book doesn’t give a second thought to the reason so many prayers sound and feel so flat (other than we need to pray more), but what if the deeper issue is that we are talking to things either unworthy of worship or non-sentient…and if that is the case of course your prayers will ring hollow. Much of the book seems very “self” focused, I want to be loved, I want to cry out, I want…whatever; this is the problem with placing ourselves at the center of God’s world, we think God must worship us.
Any time we seek to make God out to be less than He is it doesn’t hurt Him, it hurts us. We were made for glory, but that glory has been bestowed upon us, yet we constantly take that glory and think that we have created it ourselves and are deserving of it. To me, this seems the course of Lamotte’s book, sort of an American Kabala-ism that ceases to focus on the trueness of God and instead elevates the reasoning of man.
There is a reason why the Old Testament word for GLORY came from the word for WEIGHT and SIGNIFICANCE. Because God is the one who has weight, we are weightless without Him. He is fixed, His glory forever shines, and we are the ones who fail to notice or see it. We cry for glory all the while overlooking the steadfast glory of the one who made us.
Maybe, just maybe, I feel the way I do about Help Thanks Wow because I just came off reading Timothy Keller’s book on Prayer (Experiencing the Awe and Intimacy of God) and Lamotte’s book seemed so colorless in comparison. Either way, I give it 2 stars, maybe it’s better than I thought…but I doubt it. ...more
I have no idea why I pick up books like this that I have read a hundred times by a hundred different authors. With that inro, I can also say that MarkI have no idea why I pick up books like this that I have read a hundred times by a hundred different authors. With that inro, I can also say that Mark Mittelberg really does one of the best jobs in answering many questions in a concise and understandable manner.
If you are looking for a quick, easy book with simple apologetics and answers, this is a good, and safe, bet....more
What an enjoyable book of short stories and how they came to be. I bought it because I love the style of Brandon Sanderson, but honestly, the best stoWhat an enjoyable book of short stories and how they came to be. I bought it because I love the style of Brandon Sanderson, but honestly, the best story in the book, in my humble opinion, was by Mary Kowel (A Fire in the Heavens)...just a great short story.
The book walks through how the stories came to be, the process of the other writers, and changes to get the final product. It's probably a great resource for writers (of which I am not)....more
I don't know why I do this, I have 100 books I need to read and see a book with a catchy name and pick it up to read it...this was one of those books.I don't know why I do this, I have 100 books I need to read and see a book with a catchy name and pick it up to read it...this was one of those books.
This is one of Greears follow-up books to "Gospel" (which I am also reading because I saw the forward by Tim Keller). I thought "Stop Asking Jesus into Your Heart" was going to be about how the terms we use in Christianity today, "Accept Jesus" "Ask Jesus into your heart" are not biblical and can actually skew, in negative ways, our perception of salvation. The truth is that we don't "accept Jesus," it is Jesus who has accepted us (but I digress).
This book, instead of being about modern American words we use to understand salvation, has much more to do with our security in Christ. Greear does an excellent job, starting with a personal testimony and moving into understanding grace, of explaining not just our sufficiency in Christ, but Jesus' ability to never lose us.
Greear also spends time navigating the touchy areas of grace verse works and how our works are born out of our faith. Its a short book, under 130 pages, but still good if you are struggling with doubt about the security of your salvation and what it means to trust Christ with your (our) entire life. ...more
As normally happens with books like this, it starts out really well and ends mediocre. There are some great little nuggets throughout the book, but itAs normally happens with books like this, it starts out really well and ends mediocre. There are some great little nuggets throughout the book, but it seems the chapters never fully come to a close, like a bad preacher who is just rambling to take up some time and doesn't seal the deal.
Don't get me wrong, there are numerous examples throughout the scriptures, and throughout this book, of people disappointment with how they view God interacting with the world. Koessler does an excellent job addressing many of these, I simply think the answers could have been more practical and more easily accessible.
I tend to be harder than I should on books like this so I gave it 4 stars (simply because I am going to steal something from it for a sermon on John the Baptist for next year- haha). The book was better than most I read, the author is genuine, the writing style easy, and the material useful.
I think the book could have been about 50 pages shorter, the last chapters felt a bit like filler...not bad, just not as good as the rest of the book....more
Someone gave me this book because I love Bacon and they thought it would be funny. It was an interesting book, but I found it so hard to get into, henSomeone gave me this book because I love Bacon and they thought it would be funny. It was an interesting book, but I found it so hard to get into, hence 3 stars.
I don't really know WHAT to say about it. World War 2 history....more
This is the best book I have read this year. It is an excellent resource for pastors, lay-people, deacons, elders, church members, and community groupThis is the best book I have read this year. It is an excellent resource for pastors, lay-people, deacons, elders, church members, and community group leaders. If you have found yourself being a total tool because others don't measure up to your own false standards, you need to read this book.
Until we as a people understand our own personal redemption we will not interact in the world as we should, being God's ambassadors. This book lays out how to talk to others from a position of redemption and hope. I would recommend reading this book in conjunction with the book REDEMPTION by Mike Wilkerson. ...more
In many ways it is a re-hashing of many other things Driscoll has said, but it is still excellent. It defines who sits where in theology (and in onceIn many ways it is a re-hashing of many other things Driscoll has said, but it is still excellent. It defines who sits where in theology (and in once sense shows we are all jacked up), but also points to the hope that we all have in the person of Jesus Christ. The death of 'Christiandom' doesn't have to be a bad thing if what comes from those ashes is authentic faith in Jesus and the true proclamation of His Gospel by the church....more
Re-reading for a class we will be doing soon and thought I would add it to good-reads. This is probably one of the simplest books to read and understaRe-reading for a class we will be doing soon and thought I would add it to good-reads. This is probably one of the simplest books to read and understand about apologetics. Craig is concise and focused. He doesn't cover everything the field of apologetics delves into, but this is an excellent start for anyone looking for easy things to remember and learn....more