Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Halloween Humor

Taking a break from the book series for some timely humor. I don't know what it is, this one just made me laugh out loud.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

BOOK 10: The Blind Side by Michael Lewis (audio)

The Blind Side is a remarkable story of a kid from the poorest section of Memphis being adopted by the Tuohy family. He learned to play football at the Christian high school where the Tuohy kids went. I don't want to ruin the story for anyone who loves football and underdog stories, so that's all I will say, other than that this is a worthwhile read for Orr's story, for the football insight and for the inside look at big high school and big college football.

Michael Lewis has been accused of losing his objectivity as a reporter on thsi book. Maybe I'm a sucker, but I think the story is so heartwrenching and compelling, I'd have questions about Lewis if he didn't become a supporter of the ultimate underdog in Michael Orr. Sean Tuohy (who incidentally is the color commentator for the NBA's Memphis Grizzlies) has been criticized for adopting Michael for selfish reasons. His wife was the one, if Lewis is correct, who really went after this kid because he was in need and for no other reason. I guess people can say what they want, but I don't know a lot of people who would take a kid from this kind of background into their own home. At most, it's a cocktail of selfish reasons and utter selflessness that prompted this decision a lot of people simply wouldn't make.

Great read. Great listen. A must for sports fans and fans of the underdog everywhere.

Monday, October 06, 2008

BOOK 9: This Mind in You by Bramwell Tillsley

This Mind in You was written by Commissioner Bramwell Tillsley before he became General. He is one of my favorite Army preachers and this book is a compilation that was orignially a series preached in holiness meetings while Tillsley was at The Salvation Army Training School (seminary) in London. It is an examination of the mind of Christ as observed in the book of Philippians. The topic could get very heady, but the book reads like a collection of sermons featuring many accessible illustrations.

Here are some favorite passages:

"The New Testament church lived by witness, service and fellowship. The contemporary church must also teach and preach as well as serve. Fellowship is also essential for effective proclamation and relevant serving. It has been suggested that the church of our day is suffering from a 'fellowship crisis.' It is rare to find that beautiful intimacy among God's people where masks are dropped, where honesy prevails and where there is a sense of 'community' beyond the human."

I JUST STOPPED TO CRY WITH HER quoting TURKINGTON (p. 18 paragraph 5-p. 19 top)
"Somtimes just being available communicates our love for others. Dean W.D. Turkington loved to tell of the little girl who one evening was later than usual in returning home from school. 'You're late tonight,' said her mother. 'Yes,' replied her daughter, 'I met another girl who had broken her doll.' 'Did you think you could help her repair the doll?' her mother asked. 'No, mother, I just stopp to cry with her.'"

"Persecution is really a compliment, for no one persecutes an individual who is ineffective. George Bernard Shaw said that the finest compliment the world can pay an author is to burn his books. Perecution gives us the opportunity to demonstrate loyalty. It also enables us to share the fellowship of Christ's suffering. All through the New Testament there runs the conviction that to accept and endure persecution places a man in a special relationship with Jesus Christ. 'If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him' (2 Timothy 2:12)"

I USED TO BE A BASEBALL UMPIRE (p. 33 paragraph 4)
"The story is told of a man who simply stood by and listened to another man call him all sorts of unkind names. A bystander said to him, 'You are a strange fellow; the man called you all kinds of things and you just stood there and smiled until he walked away. How did you do it?' the man replied, 'I used to be a baseball umpire.'"

TRUE HUMILITY (p. 44 paragraph 2)
"True humility means knowing yourself, accepting yourself and being yourself—your best self—to the glory of God. It is a balance between thinking less of yourself than you should or thinking more of yourself than you ought."

I recommend this book, particularly to anyone who preaches on a regular basis because Tillsley choosing excellent quotations and shares pithy, poignant stories that serve well from the pulpit.