Archive for May, 2010

Rooms by Jim Rubart

May 30, 2010

Here is the second of the terrific, original books that I read this month. 

Jim Rubart is in the Northwest Christian Writer’s Association.  Wes and I both read Rooms.  I read it with the paperback at home, and the Kindle version on my kindle for PC.  I was so enthralled in this book, I didn’t put it down.  I read it at home, on the train, and at lunch. 

Wes read Rooms from the paperback.  He loved the originality of the plot.

I am so excited that Christian fiction has progressed to the point of such great writing.  Before Jim, we were pretty much limited to Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker.  Now we have a new writer, who can weave the supernatural and intrigue.  Delightful!

I hope you enjoy this book.   Want to learn more?  Check out the writer’s page.  Here’s where you can get it on Amazon.

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The Last Christian by David Gregory

May 30, 2010

Christian fiction has reached a new level.  Today I am going to blog on two amazing new Christian fiction books.

The Last Christian is the beginning of Christian sci-fi.  What happens when we progress to the point in technology where we have the capability of melding humans and AI?  The Last Christian takes us to the point where this is a possibility.

What happens when Christianity has become a thing of the past?  This is the point David Gregory addresses.

With multiple points of tension, David Gregory has created an original story that is entertaining and suspenseful.

Want to learn more? Check out this promo video.

Click here to read the first chapter.

Wes and I both enjoyed this book.  We found the character development strong, the plot engaging, and the story line original.  I hope you enjoy it too.

The Meeting of the Waters by Fritz Kling

May 21, 2010

I want to share a most excellent book with you.

Do the conversations of Q Conference still ring in your head?  You’ll want this book to be part of your discussion.  Kling is a global-level thinker.  In The Meeting of the Waters, he takes on the mixture of cultures that we now face, and looks for a solution.

The mighty Amazon is fed by two rivers that merge together at Manaus, Brazil.  One of these rivers comes from a quiet tributary – the other is tumultuous.  When these two rivers meet, they run as two seperate rivers in the same bank.

Kling uses this river as a picture of our world today.  We have so many cultures – old and new, east, west… the list is long.  Do you want to make a difference in this world?  Do you want to bridge the cultures?  Do you want to figure out how to help the people in your church work together and reach their community?   This book will help you.

Kling discusses seven things to consider when looking at culture and trying to communicate in today’s world:

  • Mercy
  • Mutuality
  • Migration
  • Monoculture
  • Machines
  • Mediation
  • Memory

These seven things each make a mark on civilization.  Knowing how to navigate the waters will give you the ability to be a world-class communicator and leader. 

Want to know more?  Check out their video.

You can buy the book on Amazon.

Solitude and Silence – Why?

May 20, 2010

Wheat in the quiet of Central OR

Up until my senior year of high school, I lived on a farm in Central Oregon.  With rare exceptions, my friends were a long-distance phone call away, so during the summer and school holidays, solitude (with the exception of my immediate family) was my constant companion.

What can one learn from solitude?  From silence?

When you are alone, you learn to hear your own voice.  It is my opinion that the ability to hear one’s own voice helps us discern God’s voice when He speaks.

Solitude shows us our fallibility.  If my kids are any indication, people have a natural propensity to argue – or maybe it’s just our gene line.  In solitude, you have no one to argue with but yourself.  Have you ever listened to yourself think?  Have you ever contemplated whether you are really right, or if there might be another approach?

Solitude and the resounding silence leave room for wonder and imagination.  God is much bigger than you or I.  His perspective is completely foreign to us.  In silence, we are able to reach beyond the noise in our own head and imagine.  We expand our thinking and make room for God’s perspective.  We hear His voice and consider His ways.

Silence teaches us the power of words.  I know that I have a natural tendency to yammer.  My friends tell me this isn’t the case – but they don’t hear the conversation in my head – they just hear the edited version that exits my mouth.  This self editing is a skill that is learned through silence.  Words have power.  We can let them flow, fully diluted, or we can use them selectively and have maximum impact.

Solitude is where we are transformed.  Jesus spent time alone with God.  When we spend time alone with God, we are changed.  More time alone with Him means we give Him more time to transform us into the people we were created to be.

When you are constantly in community, talking, you are producing.  Eventually, you have produced everything you have that is original.  In order to recharge, you have to step aside to a place of solitude and silence, where the breeze blows fresh perspectives and offers new insights.

Here are some intriguing quotes:

The mark of solitude is silence, as speech is the mark of community. Silence and speech have the same inner correspondence and difference as do solitude and community. One does not exist without the other. Right speech comes out of silence, and right silence comes out of speech. – Deitrich Bonhoeffer

Be able to be alone. Lose not the advantage of solitude, and the society of thyself. – Sir Thomas Browne

Solitude shows us what should be; society shows us what we are. – Robert Cecil

Charley’s Aunt at Taproot Theatre

May 16, 2010

photo by Erik Stuhaug

The joy of the theatre is made more intense by a well written script and superior actors. 

Occasionally, you find a play where the chemistry just comes together and you have a masterpiece.

That is what you will find, as you wisk back in time to enjoy Charley’s Aunt at Taproot Theatre.

This story, originally written in 1892, is about three college gents, and their hijinks surrounding their lovelives.  As the plot thickens, our gents throw one of their friends (who has a love for the theatre) into the role of their aunt – only to have him become the love interest of every older man on the set.

Steve West did a tremendous job playing Lord Fancourt Babberly, who in turn played Charley’s Aunt – from Brazil – where the nuts come from.  His ability to play a role within a role was delightful.  He held both roles with such an agility – impressive.

Don Brady is a consummate actor.  He nearly stole the show.  How does a man be a butler to spoiled college lads?  With humor, it would seem.  In many ways, the butler, Brassett, is the eye of the audience, and therefore the one we identify with as we watch the play.  Brady does an excellent job of increasing the breadth of the role, and adding humor every time he is on stage.  He is truly a 100% actor.

Anne Kennedy is back, as Charlie’s love interest (Kitty).  I found that Anne did a great job with this role, not only playing the easy role of a pouty ward, but also a young girl with hopes and dreams, willing to take on the world, and an assertive woman with her own take on life.  Kitty came across as a fully-rounded person, and I think it was due primarily to Anne’s great acting.

photo by Erik Stuhaug

Samie Detzer and Emily Fairbrook play the other two young ladies, both with lesser roles, but both played them with grace and intelligence. These characters would have been easy to just play monodimensionally, but this wasn’t the case.  Every actor did a fantastic job becoming the part and understanding the different parts of the personality that make up the whole.

llysa Holland plays the real Charlie’s Aunt.  One of the highlights of this play is the ability for the actors to “think” outloud to the audience while the other characters remained oblivious.  This was particularly fun in the characters of Charlie’s Aunt and Brassett.  Llysa is a beautiful woman who brings dignity and poise to the role.

Two of my favorite actors – Andrew Litzky and  Nolan Palmer are the older gents who vie for Charlie’s Aunt’s attention.   This was a new role for Andrew, and it was fun to watch him stretch is acting – particularly in the physical acting realm.  When great actors take the stage, it is obvious – these two were obvious.  Superb.

Last, we have Eric Riedmann, friend of Charlie, and Josh Smyth, Charlie. I don’t think these roles were particularly stretching for these actors, but both were played well, drawing the audience into the predicament, and being incredibly great backdrop characters for their friend, dressed in drag. 

One other thing I want to bring to your attention is how awesome the new set at Taproot is.  Seriously, it is worth the trip just to see how they have transformed their set.  It is versatile, artistic, creative – tantalizing in its new ability to create a scene.

I hope you get a chance for a night out at Taproot – you will enjoy it.  You can purchase your tickets at their website.

Special Opportunity from Taproot Theatre

May 5, 2010

Taproot forwarded this opportunity to me in conjunction with their new play,Charley’s Aunt, opening May 12, and it looks like fun, so I want to let you know about it:

WHAT I DID FOR LOVE: Do you have a story that dazzles and delights? Whether it’s how you proposed, something crazy you did to get your teenage crush’s attention, or a public declaration of your love, we want to hear about it! Visit taproottheatre.wordpress.com or e-mail love@taproottheatre.org to tell us your story.

Happy writing!