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Showing posts from July, 2013

book response: Me, Myself, and Bob by Phil Vischer (2007)

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When my kids were little, I loved watching Veggietales videos with them. Phil Vischer created them. His company, Big Idea, produced great stories with great visuals about Jesus, God and the Bible, told through the lives of armless, legless vegetables with big eyes, crazy voices, and silly songs. This book is the story of how this extremely popular show and quickly growing business collapsed into bankruptcy, leaving Phil with his God, his family, and his broken dreams. Yet it is a story with hope and redemption and restoration with the same God, same family, and a bigger dream.

The Veggietales videos promised and delivered a half hour of entertaining morality tales. This book delivered in one sitting of about four hours a story that had me laughing out loud, angry at the bad guys, shaking my head at the stupid things, misting over in the hard parts, and choking up at the end. Vischer starts with his childhood, showing how God prepared him for movie making and story telling and new tec…

book response: CMYK by Justin McRoberts

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The other morning, I did something rather unusual. I stayed in bed and read. Justin McRobert's book, CMYK, kept me in bed. I didn't want to miss out on the conversations Justin was sharing with me. This book is a series of letters written in response to the vagaries of life. McRobert's writes as a pastor, husband, son, father, friend, musician, and disciple of Jesus Christ. His words do not come from a mountaintop, but from alongside, which is very encouraging. Although these letters are not written to me, all of them speak to something in my life. I received this encouragement for someone else.

"Your story is not a story of failure; it is a story of boundless mercy. It is a story about getting second chances seven times, and then seventy times that. While some would suggest your life’s process was marked by failure, I believe that it is characterized by grace."

The perspective of grace changes everything. McRoberts is not only graceful, but humorously self-depr…

my trip to Haiti in July 2013 part 1

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I've been back for almost a week since my trip to Haiti with my daughter through the organization Mission E4. The picture above is before their front gate at the girls' orphanage in Cassagne, Leogane.
This is a picture of us from day 3 at the outdoor dining area of the guest house in Gran Goave.


Our team stayed at a beach house in Gran Goave owned by Mission of Hope International. There is another group named Mission of Hope Haiti. They also do great work in Haiti, but we didn't stay with them. They do not have air conditioning, you need regular electricity for that, but I was able to walk right out the back gate, down the boat ramp and into the Gulf of Gonave every afternoon for some resuscitation after a hot work day.
I don't know, nor did I want to know, how (un)clean the water is. It was very murky, but so refreshing. On the horizon, we could barely see Gonave Island. Mission of Hope has a small motorboat that they take out to the island to do ministry and relief …

John's summer reading 2013

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Summer time is normally a time for lighter reading, books that finish quickly. For many people, these books are usually fiction. For me, however, I am interested in historical narratives of natural disasters. Here are the four I've read so far.

Sudden Sea: The Great Hurricane of 1938 by R. A. Scotti is fast paced and well written. Scotti is a fomer journalist for the Providence Journal and is intimately familiar with the coastline and people of Rhode Island which lost the greatest number of lives. My section of southeastern Connecticut was also hit hard in 1938, and I appreciated her local perspective. Her collection of anecdotes helps us remember this event changed the lives of families and not just impersonal towns.

Category 5: The Story of Camille, Lessons Unlearned from America's most violent hurricane by Judith A. Howard and Prof. Ernest Zebrowski, Jr. includes some more science behind these storms. It was published soon after Katrina repeated it's path of destruction. …