Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Book That Transforms Nations

I (Chris) have a whole section of my book shelf called "promises, promises." These are books that people have loaned or given me to read and I have said something like "Well, there are many books in the way of this one but if you don't need it for a while I'm happy to check it out." Thus, the shelf full.

I enjoy reading. I think reading is important. And, I'm quite busy. And, I generally prefer to read fiction. And I like audio books, fiction audio books.

It took me a while to get around to reading "The Book That Transforms Nations" by Loren Cunningham and Janice Rogers. It's not the kind of book I'm naturally drawn to but I'm so glad a friend pressed it into my hand.

Written in 2006, this is a wonderful overview of how the Bible has had a profound impact on nations around the world. Loren is the founder of Youth With A Mission and has literally travelled to every nation on earth. Think of the passports!

Reading Loren is a pleasure. He brims with hope and optimism. He does not gloss over the difficulties around the world. He speaks openly and honestly about the many challenges facing our world but he speaks of them from a place of hope. That makes a big difference. He holds fast to his belief that the Bible and the God it reveals are the hope of our world.

I would heartily recommend this book. You will learn things and hear stories you never knew. You will be inspired. And the biggest take away for me is how precious the Bible really is and what a miracle it is that it has come to us the way it has. When I finished this book, I wanted to immediately go and read the Bible.

You can pick it up at YWAM Publishing HERE and it's available on Amazon

Monday, May 18, 2015

Out on a limb with M. Night Shyamalan - Chris

Here I go again.

M. Night Shyamalan is releasing a new scary movie this September and it has people wondering if he'll be "back" or produce yet another disappointment. You either love a Shyamalan movie or you hate it. He has fallen from grace with the public and critics alike with his past few films. It seems people like his stuff less with each release.

I've always appreciated his style. Usually a slower, surreal pace that has often worked and sometimes not so worked. Kind of like that sentence.

I absolutely loved Signs. It may be one of my favorite movies of all time. It's my favorite Shyamalan for sure. The Last Airbender is my least favorite along with The Happening. After those, like all the rest of us, I got Shyamalan shy.

It's always bothered me that I never gave After Earth a shot. It got 11% on the Rotten Tomato site! That's pretty rotten. The studio didn't even advertise Shyamalan as the director. 

Today, I rented it and watched it.

And I really liked it. It is not at the top of the heap and not at the bottom either. It's right in the mix with The Village, Unbreakable and Lady In The Water.

Shyamalan is best when telling a small story about people in the context of a bigger happening (pun intended). You experience the story from the small view of the characters. In this way, After Earth is spot on. 

Critics were put off by the funny accents. I found it a creative tool to think about how the English accent would evolve in the future. Others were put off by the Smith's producing and contributing to the story but this is also what critics have been saying Shyamalan has needed, partners. 

I found the suspense engaging. The danger felt real. There are some beautiful moments in this film to do with parenting, fear and letting go that made it such a good experience for me.

You don't have to like it. I did. And I would heartily recommend you give it an honest try.