Friday, July 31, 2009

Thursday, July 30, 2009

G.K. Chesterton

"It is always simple to fall; there are an infinity of angles at which one falls, only one at which one stands."

in Orthodoxy

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Emerald City of Oz, L. Frank Baum



5 stars
I think this was my favorite Oz book that I have read to date (this being book six in the fifteen book Oz series). All of the delightful characters return as Dorothy and her crew head out on another adventure through the land of Oz. This book follows a journey motif of going out and returning and on the way all sorts of adventures filled with odd inhabitants take place - not to mention the unfolding of a great battle for the Emerald City itself. This book is filled with Baum's playful wit and puns.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

loss:

The empty box I found in storage upon which my deceased mother's handwriting loomed large: "To read to my grandchildren."

Monday, July 27, 2009

Haiku XVI

The sun casts shadows,
elongates and shortens forms—
so too, memory.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Haiku XV

Rain is collecting—
The widow puts a small coin
in the offering.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Haiku XIV

The kettle calms down—
Tea leaves steep in hot water.
The prayers have begun.

Friday, July 24, 2009

C.S. Lewis

"What does not satisfy when we find it, was not the thing we were desiring."

from The Pilgrim's Regress

Thursday, July 23, 2009

C.S. Lewis

"All mortals tend to turn into the thing they are pretending to be."

from The Screwtape Letters

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Oswald Chambers

"The only Lover of the Lord Jesus Christ is the Holy Ghost."

from Studies In The Sermon On The Mount

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Oswald Chambers

"If you want to remain a full-orbed grape, you must keep out of God’s hands for he will crush you. Wine cannot be had in any other way."

Monday, July 20, 2009

George MacDonald on intercessory prayer...

"And why should the good of anyone depend on the prayer of another? I can only answer with the return question, 'Why should my love be powerless to help another?' "

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain



5 stars
There is a reason this book is a classic; a master storyteller writing a playful and riveting tale of boyhood. As Twain wrote at 71, "It is a pity we can not escape from life when we are young." With the idyllic characters of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, Twain has offered such an escape to enter within. This was the perfect summer read.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Haiku XIII

Freshly pressed coffee—
Then a splash of cream, swirling.
My wife’s greeting kiss.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Donald Miller

"I never liked jazz music because jazz music doesn't resolve. But then I was outside the Bagdad Theater in Portland one night when I saw a man playing the saxophone. I stood there and for fifteen minutes, and he never opened his eyes. After that I liked jazz music. Sometimes you have to watch someboday love something before you can love it yourself. It is as if they are showing you the way. I used to not like God because God didn't resolve. But that was before any of this happened."

from the "Author's Note" in Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Iris Murdoch

"Writing is like getting married. One should never commit oneself until one is amazed at one's luck."

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Inklings of Oxford: C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Their Friends


Text by: Harry Lee Poe / Photographs by: James Ray Veneman

5 stars
If you are looking for an engaging and yet quick read on the Inklings (and particularly the friendship of Lewis & Tolkien) this is a book to grab. It is a fast read - I finished it the day I picked it up - it is put together in a souvenir or coffee table book format. Poe is a great writer and the visual tour of Oxford through Veneman's lens takes you into the world of these great authors. I highly recommend this quick biographical sketch. The book also includes an appendix that lays out a few walking tours around Oxford in the steps of the Inklings

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Princess & Curdie, George MacDonald



4 stars
Although I did not enjoy this book as much as the first one (The Princess and the Goblin), I still thought it to be a wonderful continuation of the story of Curdie and Princess Irene. MacDonald indeed knows how to do fairy tale. What I felt to be somewhat a slow middle emerged into an action packed ending. Here is a book lined with spiritual truth and good storytelling.

Friday, July 10, 2009

living:

The insignificance of being significant and the significance of being insignificant.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Haiku XII

Dawn is appearing—
Blade of grass, shouldered with dew.
Light—lifting burdens.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Winston Churchill

"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire."

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Abraham Lincoln

"He can compress the most words into the smallest idea of any man I know."

Monday, July 6, 2009

Up (2009, Pixar)



4 stars
Pixar has done it again - they are the masters of storytelling and this movie does not disappoint - in terms of both adult and child sensibilities. There were a couple of slow points but all-in-all the movie was a great tale filled with adventure and some very poignant scenes. The character development, delightful animation, and overall message were well crafted.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Haiku XI

Neighbors are moving—
We linger in our good-bye.
Tonight’s crescent moon.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

independence:

The "I" which stands not for one's rights but rather for one's responsibility.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Christ The Lord: The Road To Cana, Anne Rice



5 stars
Anne Rice has written a bold and ambitious book. She writes the novel with Jesus speaking in the first person. I must say she did is beautifully. I ended the book with a sense of how appealing Jesus really is. She brings to the surface the humanity of Christ while not neglecting his divinity. I think this would be a great book for anyone who has heard the stories of the Gospel and has come to find them dull and dry. Rice's portrayal of Jesus in the flesh caused me to look back at the sacred text with new eyes and with a deeper appreciation of the larger story of Jesus' life and ministry. I loved the way she created a back story for the Gospel story—even if it didn’t happen the way she envisioned it, it was still a powerful reminder that something must have taken up many of Jesus’ hours that are lost to history.

This book is a sequel to Christ the Lord: Out Of Egypt but can be read alone.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Eric Carle

"We have eyes, and we're looking at stuff all the time, all day long. And I just think that whatever our eyes touch should be beautiful, tasteful, appealing, and important."

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

M.C. Escher

"Are you really sure that a floor can't also be a ceiling?"