Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Book Review: The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian (anthology) by Robert E. Howard

The two best stories are "The Phoenix on the Sword" and "The Queen of the Black Coast"; otherwise, the first half of this anthology holds the best of the bunch, gradually dwindling down to my least favorite two stories: "The Vale of Lost Women" and "Rogues in the House." The final story almost redeemed the second half, but didn't quite pack the punch necessary to overcome the duds immediately prior to it.

I enjoy reading Howard's fast paced fiction, especially to spice up my lunch hour during the work week. I highly recommend this collection to all fans of the original one-of-a-kind blue-eyed-blazing barbarian from Cimmeria.

Follow this link for my complete GoodReads review of this novel.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Book Review: The Last Unicorn by Beagle

Beagle continually surprised me with his unique prose. Descriptions and metaphors in odd juxtapositions that at first make no sense but then you blink and they make complete sense. His dialogue often rang with rhythm and rhyme, nudging me to re-read a snippet just to hear it roll off my tongue.  A timeless tale of love, beauty, regret and hope. 

Follow this link for my complete Goodreads review.  

Sunday, October 24, 2010

My Notes from "Pray Like It Matters" part 4 of "Raising G Rated Kids in an R Rated World"


 Raising G Rated Kids in an R Rated World - 4

 October 24, 2010

 Dan Southerland

John Huber (Family Pastor)

Reactive prayers: In crisis mode
Proactive prayers

Survey results from 50 of our teens:
"If my parents only knew ..."
  •  drinking, drugs and sex
  •  peer pressure
  •  pressure to succeed; terrified to fail
  •  my parent's ability to relate to me
Prayer for one kid proactively ... pass over to Pastor Dan

Big idea for this series: my greatest opportunity to change the world for Christ is the kids God has put in my life.

Big idea for this teaching: there is nothing I do for the kids in my life that matters more than prayer.

Join Jesus in what He is already doing.(theological premise)
You need the prayer; I need the practice (turn to your neighbor)
John 17 - Jesus prays for His kids

(second favorite theologian after Charlie Brown)
John Wesley: Pray like it all depends on God.
                      Work like it all depends on you.

Three Prayers Jesus Prays for His Kids (and Three Actions to Go With Them)

1.  Pray for your kid's protection.

Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name. - John 17:11 (NIV)

I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from evil. - John 17:15 (NIV)
  • from bad choices
  • from bad friends
  • from bad habits
Is your home a safe place for your kids?

2.  Pray for your kid's joy.
May they have the full measure of my joy within them. - John 17:13 (NIV)
  • salvation experience
  • service orientation
  • security
How is the fun factor in your home?

3.  Pray for your kid's maturity.
Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth.  John 17:11 (NLT)   

Luke 2:52 (Jesus 12 years old for his bar mitzvah)
  • wisdom; grow intelectually
  • stature; physical growth
  • favor with men; socially
  • favor with God; spiritually
Let your kids see Jesus in you.

It is never too late to start praying for your kids.
It is always too early to stop.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Book Review: Cryoburn (Miles Vorkosigan Returns)

Miles is on a new (to us) planet, Kibou-daini (settled by people of Japanese heritage). An entire culture mortally afraid of dying (pun intended) to the point where millions, if not billions, of citizens have chosen cryo preservation rather than the more traditional final frontier (i.e. Death). Oddly, since they are not dead, as citizens they still retain their votes in this democracy, albeit by proxy held by ever larger more monopolistic corporations. This sparked quite a few intriguing interpolations both in the characters and my own internal ponderings.

My complete GoodReads review of Cryoburn by Bujold

Sunday, October 17, 2010

My Notes from WFC's Online Church Sermon by Brian Phipps


Raising G Rated Kids in an R Rated World - 3

October 17, 2010

Brian Phipps

Big idea for this series: my greatest  opportunity to change the world for Christ is the kids God has put in my life.
Todays’ big idea: discipline + discipline = discipline
Discipline #3. The lifestyle of a disciple (end goal)

A person who is loving  Jesus, becoming like Jesus, and share Jesus.

Romans 8:29 God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son.
Heb. 12:10 “God’s discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness.”
Discipline #2. A commitment to train

Prov. 22:6 Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.

Proverbs 13:24 Those who spare the rod of discipline hate their children. Those who love their children care enough to discipline them.
Discipline #1. Constructive course corrections.  (build up)
Proverbs 3:12 “The Lord corrects those He loves.”
Constructive course corrections:
         -include the moral reason why
         -help *** the value.
         -are never done in anger
Eph. 6:4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction that comes from the Lord.
         -are consistent
         -don’t allow arguing, but welcome limited challenges
         -are different for each kid
Couple of books
Parenting with Love and Logic - http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46186.Parenting_With_Love_and_Logic

How to Make Your Children Mind Without Losing Yours by Kevin Lehman - http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3099208.How_to_Make_Children_Mind_Without_Losing_Yours

Correction warning!!!
Correction without a relationship fosters rebellion
Heb. 12:11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.
Want to be a friend to your kid?
Be a trainer now, so you can be a friend when they are older.

Favorite coach, favorite teacher ... the ones who corrected you in love.  We can make an amazing difference in this world by investing pure love in our children. 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

BookMooches Sent First Half of October

The leaves are falling and I'm cleaning off book shelves at home to make room for, yep, you guessed it, more books.  After I make my trip to the post office later this morning, I will have sent off seventeen mooched books to various states across the nation:  Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Virginia, and Washington.  Since I first joined (or found) BookMooch back in July 2008, I've given away 350 books and received 185 books (some of which I gave away again after I read them).

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Reading Goal Reality Check for Q4 2010

In 2009, I read ninety-six novels, just four shy of my goal of reading one hundred books that year.  Now that I'm firmly in the final quarter of 2010, with nearly half of October history already, I find myself at nearly the same place and pace.

I track all my reading via GoodReads, which introduced a handy stats feature this year.   Since I've read sixty-two novels in the first three quarters of 2010, I project another twenty before the end of the year, which is disappointing.  And I'm not likely to get more time to read, since the last quarter is filled with family events and holidays, none of which leave me leisure time to read.  Perhaps I'll at least be able to finish a couple of audio books on the long road back and forth to Texas (twice) in the coming weeks.

Looking back at the quality of reads this year, I only awarded three five-star ratings/reviews but over thirty four-star ratings/reviews.  A couple of the best reads included:

A Civil Campaign by Bujold

Carol Berg's Lighthouse duology - Flesh and Spirit and Breath and Bone

Kay's Sarantine Mosaic duology - Sailing to Sarantium and Lord of Emperors

Miller's classic award winning Canticle for Leibowitz

And as if I didn't already have enough unfinished epic fantasy series to read, I started a new one by Brandon Sanderson with his recently released Way of Kings (aka the tome).

For my own peace of mind and to further advance me to my one hundred book goal for 2010, I'm swearing off books over 800 or 900 pages for the rest of the year.

Just a Placeholder

I do most of my blogging at Wordpress.com and had hopes that I could automatically import my blog posts from there to here, but I'm not finding that functionality at Blogger.com.

Not to fret, I'll occasionally post here and read some blogs here.  And I'll cross-post when appropriate.