turning to the book

Bookworld2I thought about an interesting incident the other day and how we can still be tied to the ways of the past.  I was driving around with my sister and niece and was telling them about an orange-breasted bird I had seen moving through the bushes in the back yard. At first I was thinking it was just a robin, but then I realized the bird’s breast seemed to be a bit more orange than a robin’s and I was also thinking that its body was more brown. It just didn’t appear to be a robin.

My sister said it was a Baltimore oriole and I hadn’t thought it might be a female.

And I responded with “I’ll look it up in my bird book when I get home.”  My sister said she would look it up as well – and even my niece said she had a bird book, too.

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big wolf, little wolf

Sadly, the book is now out of print. Bigwolf

A synopsis of the book was featured on a website I visit each week. I love reading children's books like this, but this is the first one that put a lump in my throat - and I will probably never get a chance to read the actual book.

Big Wolf, Little Wolf tells the tale of a lonely wolf who realized just how lonely he is when he encounters the little wolf who visits him.

It is funny how people come into our lives that at first we resent, then we enjoy, then we miss when they disappear. This fable captures those feelings so wonderfully.

the fault in our stars

I read the book, then I saw the movie. Both are good, but the movie seemed to deepen the emotions of the book. The movie was on TV today. I took the time to watch it again.

Young adults dealing with cancer, and death, and love... It's not an easy thing to read or to watch, but Green's book and the movie based on the movie help  -- and I admit to a lump in my throat, and fighting back a tear or twenty with both versions.

Here's a visual compilation of Hazel's eulogy of Augustus.


a long obedience

TBTWhen I was downsizing my library last summer, I made it a point to keep books that had become an important part of my life.

One in particular I kept. It's worn, it's spine is broken, it has loose pages, is dog-eared, and highlighted, and underlined. I did more than just read it. I absorbed it.

A Long Obedience in the Same Direction by Eugene Peterson has been more than just a book. It has been a life-long inspiration.

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No. 91

It's one of those small paperback books you pick up and think, "I could have done this..."

Only you know it is so clever, you never could have pulled everything together and made it understandable.

The premise is taking ideas of things God can NOT do, and prove them using scripture. It's like trying to see something positive by understanding its negative.  In other words, I read the thought and consider the associated scripture, and smile realizing it's absolutely true.

I like that...



TBTWhen I was thinking of what to enter for a "throwback Thursday" posting, I was coming up empty.

Then I remembered bumping into a friend, and like a proud parent pulling out pictures of their children, I started talking about my novel.

Yeah, I'm sure people are sick of me talking about it. I'm not. (Bill types with a big grin on his face.)

I try and work into my story that I had been working on that dang novel for over 10 years.

And what gave me the idea for the story in the first place?

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the warlord's companion

Cover1Yes, it's finally in print!

Just over 10 years ago, I was taking a break and read a few headlines from an internet news provider. One story described how archeologists had found a mummified panda in someone's tomb. The person being interviewed described the find and then commented that they felt the panda would be used for food in the afterlife.

I remember sitting back in my chair and thinking, "What if...?" What if the panda was not food? What if the panda was actually a pet?

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I read Stephen Covey's book back in the late 90's. It's one of those books that has stayed with me long after reading it and to which I find myself constantly reviewing and reminding myself of its lessons. Recently I stumbled over a video that summarizes the contents of Covey's book. It was a good refresher. It's more of a visual book report, but it's still good.


through the windows of the soul

Windowsquote"I don’t want to live in the kitchen of religious activity, distracted with all my preparations. I don’t want to live slumped over some steamed-up stove, worried and upset about so many things. I want to live at the Savior’s feet, gazing into His eyes, listening to His words, and seeing as many windows as He’ll show me. At His feet is where we learn to pause at those windows. It starts by loving Him and longing to hear His voice. When we’re slaving away in some kitchen where the pots and pans are clanging, it’s hard to hear that voice. But when we’re at His feet and our heart is still, we can hear Him even when He whispers."

Gire, Ken. Windows of the Soul (p. 36). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

"...He has infinity to listen..."

SilentplantMy first exposure to C. S. Lewis was through his classic science fiction tale, Out of the Silent Planet. I read it my sophomore year at Washington Bible College when my dormitory room was on the northeast side of the building facing some pine trees and the road which rounded down the hill from the main entrance of the college. I still remember those hours when I would sit back in the desk chair and rest my feet on the desk and read Lewis' story about a man from Earth ("the silent planet") to the planet Malacandria. The book is rich in description and the experience of reading it has stayed with me for many years.

And he is the author of the Narnia books as well as many other books on theological ideas. I loved reading him.

As I wandered around the internet I found an old interview he gave to the BBC that is related to his book "Mere Christianity".  It features Lewis' gift of being able to explain theological concepts using everyday examples. I especially love his explanation of the eternal nature of God to our finite existence:  "... [God] has infinity in which to listen to the split second of prayer..."


the soul's windows

Window1Like any new year, we aspire to make changes in life that would make our lives better.

Last year I downsized my library and gave away many books to two churches. As I was sorting through them and trying to decide which ones to keep and which ones to give away, I found myself remembering them - like old friends known but rarely seen. I remember dropping off the books at one church and driving way, looking at the boxes remaining on the curb and wondering where they might end up and who might benefit from them. It made me wonder if this was like to drop off a child at a preschool and instantly start to miss them.

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silence is pure

Bench"We sit silently and watch the world around us. This has taken a lifetime to learn. It seems only the old are able to sit next to one another and not say anything and still feel content. The young, brash and impatient, must always break the silence. It is a waste, for silence is pure. Silence is holy. It draws people together because only those who are comfortable with each other can sit without speaking. This is the great paradox."

Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook)

Harry Potter and the Reading Calendar

Yes - I wholeheartedly admit it. I read Harry Potter.

I've read Harry Potter since the first books appeared in the late 1990's. I've read them all several times and have even listened to them on tape and CD. I have all of the DVDs of the movie versions of the book. I have a Harry Potter mobile of Harry flying on his Nimbus 2000, a lighted version of Hogwarts Castle, and even a stuffed Hagrid.

Yeah, I'm a Harry Potter nut second only to being a Disney nut.Hpcalendar2007

This year, J.K. Rowling completes the series. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be printed in July and the end of a decade of reading will end.

When the previous book was published (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince), I got ready for Book Six by constructing a reading calendar which would take someone through all of the printed books by reading a chapter a day. It was a wonderful way to countdown and get ready for the delivery of the newest book in the series.

I've done it again in anticipation of Book Seven. I'll place my Harry Potter 2007 Reading Calendar here in case anyone wants to join along. Beginning today, if a person starts reading at chapter one of Book One, they will have finished all six books in the series by the time the newest book is published in July.

Harry Potter fans will still have two movies to anticipate, but the book series will be complete, and J.K. Rowling will still be the richest woman in publishing history.