An amazing story of vision, faith, and perseverance.
Sarah follows God's leading to a life of service in which she sacrifices all for the children sheAn amazing story of vision, faith, and perseverance.
Sarah follows God's leading to a life of service in which she sacrifices all for the children she finds in the favelas (slums-shanty towns) of Brazil.
Here she finds poverty, suffocating hopelessness, violence, drug and sexual abuse, abandonment beyond belief - and into here she brings hope in the form of the Happy Child Mission. Working with many others, including local authorities and church groups Sarah has changed the lives of countless individuals - giving them hope for a positive future.
This is a story of hope yet also pain; many are helped, but not all, some return to their old lives, some succumb to injury and illness, and Sarah herself knows of pain in her personal life. But overall the hope of Christ triumphs. ...more
A compelling read that highlights the futility and brutality of war. Powerfully written Powers draws the reader into the tortured mind of Pvte John BaA compelling read that highlights the futility and brutality of war. Powerfully written Powers draws the reader into the tortured mind of Pvte John Bartle, a man - really still a boy, caught in the helplessness of the war machine....more
An excellent book to help readers grapple with hard questions of Christian faith. Greg Boyd correspondence with his Father at times seems to be a littAn excellent book to help readers grapple with hard questions of Christian faith. Greg Boyd correspondence with his Father at times seems to be a little contrived yet the questions his atheist father asks are questions that many inside and outside the church have.
Boyd's replies are well reasoned, and put in terms that readers without theological training can grasp.
Yann Martel's novel LIFE OF PI is the story of Piscine Molitor Patel (Pi), whose family own a zoo in India. WhileWonderful refreshing and unique read.
Yann Martel's novel LIFE OF PI is the story of Piscine Molitor Patel (Pi), whose family own a zoo in India. While much of the book describes Pi's survival after being shipwreaked there are many themes running through that entertain and encourage thought and soulsearching.
When young Pi struggled with acceptance and was mocked for his name Piscine (sounds like - pissing), and he became a bit of a loner seeking out spiritual mentors. His hunger to 'know' God leads him to becoming a Catholic, a Hindu and a Muslim all at once.
However the Patel family decide to move to Canada thus with family and some of the zoo animals on board they leave India for a new life.
When disaster strikes only Pi escapes and he finds himself on board a small life boat with a number of zoo animals which slowly kill each other.
Somehow Pi survives as does Richard Parker (a Bengal tiger) for 227 days before being washed up on a remote shore in Mexico.
This is a wonderfully imaginative story, containing some wisdom on the nature of identity and faith; surprising humour and wonderful characters, human and animal....more
This is a very good addition to the growing discussion on Spiritual Practices. While there is little that was fresh in the actual description of the pThis is a very good addition to the growing discussion on Spiritual Practices. While there is little that was fresh in the actual description of the practices the gift that Dr Baab offers is to show how and why spiritual practices can be used in congregational settings.
The highlight of the book comes towards the end when Baab engages the criticism of William Willimon to the widespread interest in Spiritual Practices - it seems that Willimon is concerned that the practices can become an end in themselves and another way of showing God that we are good. And while there is danger in this the point that Baab makes so well is that practices practiced correctly are a response to the grace of God and help us be in a place of receptivity to God the Spirit.
If we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds then it seems logical to me that there are things we can do to assist this process - we need to be disciplined about making space for God: Spiritual practices surely help this process for individuals and build unity and receptivity within congregations.
In some ways it annoyed me. Bruno the nine-year-old central character is just too naïve to be believable and while the fact thatAn odd mix this story.
In some ways it annoyed me. Bruno the nine-year-old central character is just too naïve to be believable and while the fact that he cannot pronounce words certain words is plausible it is ruined for me by their translation to English; thus Adolf Hitler, the Führer becomes "The Fury", and their location "Auschwitz" is "Out-With".
Positively the novel is also a sharp critique of human nature: the refusal to acknowledge what is happening at Auschwitz, the inability to stand up to the Führer, the refusal to name the truth that everyone saw but really only the Grandmother was prepared to acknowledge. The trampling of values in pursuit of glory.
Written for a young audience this is a book with some appeal to all ages and if read by young teens and children there would be benefit in reading with an adult and taking the time to discuss the many significant thoughts that come to mind....more
I enjoyed Mister Pip and thought I would also enjoy Lloyd Jones; new novel.
I did and I didn't. It is wonderfully written, deep characters who I now fI enjoyed Mister Pip and thought I would also enjoy Lloyd Jones; new novel.
I did and I didn't. It is wonderfully written, deep characters who I now feel I know, yet this is not a light read.
The story centres on Ines, an African woman of no name (Ines is an adopted name, no real place of belonging, who is used by a man to get the child he and his wife desire. Tricked into trusting him her child is taken far away.
Ines then begins a search for her son that is heart-breaking, gritty, and painful. In her story other unspoken stories are given life: stories of deceit; of abuse; of human trafficking; of illegal immigration; stories of the powerless.
Jones' uncovers a dark side of life and leaves us with but the slimmest hint of hope. But there is HOPE!...more
I began reading the Hunger Games trilogy simply to understand for myself what all the fuss was about.
There is no doubt that the writing is captivatingI began reading the Hunger Games trilogy simply to understand for myself what all the fuss was about.
There is no doubt that the writing is captivating, especially, I suspect, for the intended audience. However personally I felt the characters were shallow, unbelievable, and not particularly attractive. Collins paints a picture of great tyranny; peoples subjected to virtual slavery, rule maintained by bloodshed, coercion, and manipulation.
In Book 1 I saw signs of grace in the face of tyranny; somehow I hoped that a just, moral, and grace-filled outcome might be in the offering. However at the end it seems that bloodshed wins; revenge is thinly cloaked in the name of righteous rebellion, and humanity looks set to repeat the mistakes of the previous generation.
While this does reflect much of human history there are many models of an alternate way that could have been explored - Gandhi, Bonhoeffer, Mandela to name a few.
Sadly at the end of the Trilogy the answer seems to be - kill before you are killed! Surely we can do a lot better than that. ...more
after Book 1 I was expecting more but sadly 'Catching Fire' didn't quite deliver. Katniss's character doesn't develop - in many ways sheDisappointing.
after Book 1 I was expecting more but sadly 'Catching Fire' didn't quite deliver. Katniss's character doesn't develop - in many ways she actually becomes less believable: and less hero material.
Positively the people are standing up against tyranny - and I'll always applaud that, and hope of a better day is dawning, yet Katniss - the figurehead of rebellion - doesn't seem to get it. It's almost like she stumbles to success; hardly the person to inspire a mass uprising.
I'm also confused by some of the plot, maybe it becomes clear in Book 3; but why does Peeta feel he has to make up a lie about Katniss being pregnant. Is Collins suggesting that deceit is a valid way of getting ahead - I certainly hope not. And what does this lie produce anyway - nothing of substance as far as I can see.
Finally Collins needs to improve her writing style - too much was revealed too early in this one. It was obvious that Katniss would have supporters this time round; equally obvious that the Game-master was one of them, and that more than just Katniss and Peeta would survive these games. While this pleases me - it would have been good to have been surprised by it.
Anyway the Mockingjay calls, I guess I'd better read it! ...more
It's a novel but one based closely on the extraordinary exploits of the original All Blacks. In poetry and prose Lloyd Jones paints a vivid and engagiIt's a novel but one based closely on the extraordinary exploits of the original All Blacks. In poetry and prose Lloyd Jones paints a vivid and engaging picture of the 1905 tour of the United Kingdom and France by the previously unknown New Zealand Rugby team; winning all but one game, and amassing 830 points for and only 39 against the teams fame was forever established. ...more
A classic "who dunnit" set in Israel this has all the ingredients of a good read. Interesting characters, vibrant and detailed descriptions of a landA classic "who dunnit" set in Israel this has all the ingredients of a good read. Interesting characters, vibrant and detailed descriptions of a land that simply oozes intrigue.
However for me the authors tendency to explain everything in minute detail, confused the plot and caused the story to drag. One of the great delights of reading is to allow the imagination to roam and develop the story however the minutiae robbed me of this.
The surprise in this was that Samantha, the lead character, charged with the task of (helping) solve the mystery, was so slow to get it....more