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Showing posts from September, 2009

Book Review: Donald Miller's A Million Miles in a Thousand Years

I could be easily convinced that the phrase "I just couldn't put it down" was coined with Donald Miller's "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years" in mind. Whereas I typically require a month to read a book of this size (250 pages), I started this one on a Saturday and was done by Monday night. (My wife upstaged me: she read it in one day.) From the beginning, this book had its hooks in me and wasn't interested in letting go.

The premise is simple, but unique: some time ago, the author was approached about making a movie based on "Blue Like Jazz", his best-known work. "A Million Miles" is an account of the personal revelation that his own life could be more interesting, and that revelation's aftermath. The result was a number of valuable lessons learned by Miller as he explored the story-creation process, with the main lesson being the importance of making sure one's own life story is a meaningful one.

"A Million Miles&q…

Underappreciated voice

I love music. I love quality music; not fluff, not ear candy. Sadly, many music snobs who pride themselves on their musical taste fall into the trap of not liking most music which actually sells, and that's sad. There are a few vocalists who truly deserve to be described as "artists", whose music leans toward the commercial side, not by choice, but because that's who they are.

One such singer, who gets very little positive critical press, is Ronnie Milsap. Poll any group of pop or country music critics, and he doesn't make the top 20 for most of them. And that's sad, because he's actually quite incredible. I have spent some time this week reaching back into more obscure parts of my music collection, and have been reminded of how powerful this man's talent is.

I found his soul-era (before he became a country singer) rendition of "House of the Rising Sun" and am convinced it's as good as any version out there. I offer this clip: http://w…

Book Review: Max Lucado's "Fearless"

Max Lucado's "Fearless" comes along at an appropriate time for our nation and, I suspect, for many individuals. In his latest work, Lucado lays out Scripture after Scripture which demonstrate that fear of circumstances is ungodly, unwise, and harmful to us. In other words, when God tells us "do not fear", He is doing so not just to pat us on the back reassuringly; His command, when followed, will keep us from doing damage to our souls.

Lucado identifies various areas of our lives in which we commonly let fear have its way, (usually one per chapter). Some, such as death and change, are fairly obvious. Others, such as the fear of disappointing God, were off my radar. In each case, though, the author provides modern and scriptural examples.

As with most Lucado works, the illustrations are the thing. He is a gifted parable composer, and the analogies that he employs are masterful, especially when he personifies Worry in Chapter 4: Woe Be Gone--The Fear of Running O…