Tuesday, January 26, 2010

You Can't Control the Future

Had a great time delivering the message at Oakbrook Sunday. Always humbling, scary, fun and fulfilling. This series "You Don't Have What it Takes" centered around the idea that apart from God, we can do nothing.

Get the manuscript in a pdf.

Hear the podcast.
(Or go to iTunes & search "oakbrook podcasts")

Friday, January 8, 2010

Million Miles in a Thousand Years - book review

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller

I will admit that I had thoughts like this in the first half of this 248 page book:
"Yeah, this is the usual strong 'Donald Miller' book...he's forcing the humor a bit in places--to the point it needs
rim shots..."

But somewhere in the middle, this takes a decisive turn down "Strongly Impacting Lane." That is not to say that the first half is weak. I've read all his books and the first half of this one is in keeping with his prior works. But then it goes to a new more powerful and applicable place. (Interestingly, two of my friends who've read his works thought the same thing.)

In short, this book is about the process of Miller working with two filmmakers to make "Blue Like Jazz" into a movie. In the process, he learns that he's not living a very good story. In turn, the reader learns that he/she isn't living a very good story either.

I need to re-read this or perhaps need to figure out how to live this. Dare I say, this is one of those rare "everyone should read this" books. And oh how things might change if this book were a class in high schools across our country. Teens to "blue hairs:" this is for you.

I really don't think I'm over-selling or hyping this. This is the story of a man who has always been a great writer, writing about finally directing his life into good story--and fuels us to do the same.

It's perhaps his best work; and I say that without diminishing his prior books. This categorically stands apart from the rest of his catalogue. I would say I've never read a book like this one. If families read this...who knows...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Men of a Certain Age

TNT Mondays 10pm

I finding this new series refreshing for several reasons:

1. It's just a show about life. No court rooms, not a sitcom, no forensics, no reality TV. You may say as there was "ThirtySomething" this is "45-50 Something." With so many teen to 20-something driven shows, it's good to know that TNT knows I'm out here.

2. It's about 3 guys about 45-50 years old navigating life. Just life. No special effects. Just a script and simple ordinary backdrops: work, home, restaurant, coffee shop etc. If "Seinfeld" weren't a shticky sitcom, it might look more like this.

3. The 3 actors aren't very "actor-looking." Scott Bakula, Ray Romano and Andre Braugher are very normal looking guys. It's realistic & comforting to see people on TV that look like people I might see in Indy. They don't look like actors who came up doing modeling gigs (even if they did). And that adds to the "real."

4. They have normal struggles: marriage, divorce, raising teenagers, significance, father junk--you know--just life. And they don't wrap up everything in an hour. Sometimes stuff just kind of hangs there---like life does.

5. It's great to see Ray Romano just be a guy and not a guy in a sitcom with a laugh track. He's real. He's believably quirky. He's also a producer of the show. Scott Bakula and Andre Braugher are equally real and don't come across as the actors they actually are--which is refreshing.

Tired of all the typical TV crap? Give this a shot--especially if you are a man or woman--of a certain age.

(It is rated "MA" for mature audiences.)


Saturday, January 2, 2010

Best of Blog '09

Well in '09 I blogged 63 times. Here are my own picks for "best of" '09. Thanks for reading!

Strange Joy 8.27.09

Haiti pt1, pt2, pt3, pt4

And these are the top 5 books I read this year (& my review)--loved each one:

The Faith -C. Colson
Outliers -Gladwell
God & Guinness -S. Mansfield
PRIMAL -M. Batterson

Again, thanks for following along!