Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Interview at SeriousReading.com

Recently, I played a game of 20 questions with the staff of SeriousReading.com If you have ever wanted to know a little bit more about me and my writing, I would suggest you take a couple minutes, grab a cup of coffee, and check out the interview: Interview at SeriousReading.com

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Review: Time for Dervin: Living Large In Geiggityville - Bobby Darnell

I have known Bobby Darnell since the late 1970s. Bobby was always known for his sense of humor. He was always a source of jokes that didn't necessarily make you laugh but would produce a smile. Jokes like, "How do you catch a unique rabbit? You 'nique' up on it" were known as Darnell jokes in our circle of friends. We never expected he would launch a stand up career, but everyone enjoyed having him around as everyone can enjoy someone that makes folks smile. Bobby sent me a complimentary copy of Time for Dervin. As I read it, I quickly detected a pattern. Three frames of each cartoon are an amazing pun that won't always produce a laugh, but everyone will make the reader smile. The fourth frame is what I have come to call "a fun fact about Dervin" (aka Darnell).

All told Time for Dervin is an enjoyable collection of cartoons that remind me of Calvin and Hobbs. Many give you pause. All will make you smile. And who couldn't use a smile?

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Big News!

Since originally publishing Shaken Awake, I have had regular inquiries if there was a study guide for the book that could be used by book clubs or small groups. The good news is, we have released a study guide edition. It is the complete book organized for a 5-week study. Each week, read 3 of the short chapters and then the reader is presented with questions to consider related to that week's reading. The study guide is being released in a paperback edition only, so readers can make notes, etc. It is currently available at Createspace.com. But will be available on Amazon and from other book sellers in the next few weeks.

Is your small group looking for their study? We got you covered. Check out Shaken Awake - Study Guide Edition.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Book Review: The Curse of Crow Hollow by Billy Coffey

Billy Coffey tells a tale like no other. The Curse of Crow Hollow grabs the readers attention in the opening chapter and never let's you down. The characters are well developed and the story line is a well crafted mix of mystery and intrigue. Once you pick it up, you won't want to lay it down.

*I received a free pre-release copy of this novel for an honest review*

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Someone Lost a Rose

Rolling in the surf like seaweed from the deep,
someone lost a rose.
As the rose red blush remains of the sun fades from their cheek,
someone lost a rose.

As the smell of the salt air fades from their hair,
someone lost a rose.
The yellow pedals still holding their color there,
someone lost a rose.

Beachcombers tread carefully not to stamp in under their feet,
someone lost a rose.
The sun sets on the horizon while the wind blow so sweet,
someone lost a rose.

-A. Madding

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Book Review: The Art of Work by Jeff Goins

Available in Kindle format and paperback at Amazon.com

Many of us struggle to find our identity in our work. We struggle with the gap between what really interests us – where our passions lie, and how we earn a paycheck. In many instances, we work to pay the bills so that we can pursue our true interest. Others know their current career path is not their passion, but cannot pinpoint where their true passion lies. Are we living to work or working to live? Are we spending our work hours doing something that fulfills us? Are working at a career that is exactly what we were created to do, or have we pushed our dreams aside to face the reality of a 9 to 5?

The author addresses these questions and then takes us to the next step. Our passion is not enough; it must also intersect with the needs of the world around us for us to begin living for a larger purpose. I have read many books about pursuing your passion, but many leave us there. In The Art of Work, Goins provides the reader with practical exercises to allow the reader to figure out where there passion lies and how to start moving in the right direction to make a pivot and begin living for a larger purpose.

I recommend anyone that is simply working to pay the bills and cannot see a greater good produced by their career to carefully read this book and walk through the exercises in the Appendix.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Book Review: How to Use a Runaway Truck Ramp by Shawn Smucker

available in Kindle ebook and paperback at Amazon.com

After years of talking about taking a trip across the United States, Shawn and Maile Smucker step out on the adventure of a lifetime. They move the bulk of their family’s possessions into storage, borrowed his uncle’s Bus/RV, load their children and set out. Along the way, while learning about driving a huge bus, emptying the holding tank, lighting the furnace, and troubleshooting electrical systems, they also learn a great deal on what is truly important. Many of the things that had seemed important just weeks before leaving on the trip quickly became less important as they refocused their interests and values.

The book is chock full of humorous anecdotes. It is not only a journey across the country, but it is also spiritual journey, and a journey in parenting. I greatly enjoyed this book. It took me through a range of emotions for laughing to weeping. I recommend it to anyone who has children or has a wandering lust and needs a nudge to take a little risk, step outside their comfort zone and live.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Book Review: The Day the Angels Fell - Shawn Smucker

Available in Kindle ebook and paperback at Amazon.com

When 12-year-old Samuel Chambers mother dies, he struggles with his thoughts and beliefs regarding death. He swears that he will do anything to bring his mother back and soon becomes caught in a struggle between good and evil over the ancient Tree of Life. During his journey and struggle, he begins to probe his thoughts on death – could death be a gift? What waits beyond the experience of death?

This book is well written and causes the reader to pause and reflect on their own thoughts on death and whether it is a finite end or just an intersection in our lives. Do we really believe there is a life after death, and can we embrace the goodness of the journey to the other side?

After reading halfway through the first chapter of this book, I was hooked and could not lay it down. I recommend it to anyone who has struggled with the death of a loved one, and who are trying to come to grips with all that death encompasses. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Book Review: Unchristian by David Kinnaman

Merriam-Webster define Unchristian as:
 \-ˈkris-chən, -ˈkrish-\
:not of the Christian faith
a :contrary to the Christian spirit or character
b :uncivilizedbarbarous

In Unchristian, Kinnaman investigates the 16-29 year Olds perception of Christians. First he analyzes Barna research and statistics, and then he discusses why it matters. The responses are not flattering. Words like anti-homosexual, judgmental, hypocritical, and too political are among the recurring themes from those interviewed. 

"What are Christians known for? Outsiders think our moralizing, our condemnations, and our attempts to draw boundaries around everything. Even if these standards are accurate and biblical, they seem to be all we have to offer. And our lives are a poor advertisement for the standards. We have set the gameboard to register lifestyle points; then we are surprised to be trapped by our mistakes. The truth is we have invited the hypocrite image." - David Kinnaman.

Unchristian challenges us to live lives that reflect Christ, to humble ourselves, and consider how we live our lives can be a road block to others developing a relationship with the a loving God.

"When outsiders claim that we are unchristian, it is a reflection of this jumbled (and predominately negative) set of perceptions. When they see Christians not acting like Jesus, they quickly conclude that the group deserves an unchristian label. Like a corrupted computer file or a bad photocopy, Christianity, they say, is no longer in pure form, and so they reject it. One quarter of outsiders say therefore most perception of Christianity is that the faith has changed for the worse. It has gotten off-track and is not what Christ intended. Modern-day Christianity no longer seems Christian." - David Kinnaman

UnChristian challenges each of and the church to carefully examine how we are representing Christ in our everyday lives. It is disturbing, challenging, and thought provoking. I highly recommend it for both individual reading as well as group study.


Monday, December 01, 2014

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Congratulations, Debra Southern, you have won the Shaken Awake book Giveaway! Send me your contact information so I can get your prize in the mail ☺