Books Feed

The Pain Now is Part of the Happiness Then

"The boy chose safety. The man chooses suffering."

I was thumbing through "Shadowlands," a novel by Leonore Fleischer based on William Nicholson's stage play recounting the romance and tragedy of C.S. Lewis and  Joy Gresham.

The author places Lewis at his desk at the close of the book, reflecting, writing - perhaps writing his journal which would become, "A Grief Observed."

""Why love if losing hurts so much? I have no answers anymore, only the life I've lived. Twice in that life, I've been given a choice, as a boy and as a man. The boy chose safety. The man chooses suffering. The pain now is part of the happiness then. That's the deal.""

"Jack Lewis  put his pen down and smiled, thinking of Joy. He wished he had read her these words, but never mind. Jack had a feeling she had heard them; she was never far from him now."

It is not pleasant to consider choosing suffering, but safety is no option at the cost of love.


See also:

Brian Sibley: Through the Shadowlands: The Love Story of C. S. Lewis and Joy Davidman

Brian Sibley: Through the Shadowlands: The Love Story of C. S. Lewis and Joy Davidman

Kindle the Reading Fire

I used to have a favorite line that I would use to explain why computers would never replace books. It went like this, "You can't take your computer to bed to read the way you cuddle up with a good book."

Amazon has robbed me of that truism with the introduction of Kindle, "a revolutionary portable reader that wirelessly downloads books, newspapers, magazines and blogs to a crisp, high-resolution electronic paper display that looks and reads like real paper, even in bright sunlight."

Now you can cuddle up with a computer-like device and read yourself to sleep.

With a selection of 90,000 books and growing, a long battery life, clear resolution, light-weight, and reasonably priced books and magazines (average book: less than $10), I'll have to think of something else to say ...

Like ...

"You won't be able to show off all your books on the shelf."

Kindle will store about 200 books, can download them without any outside Internet connection (just built in cell phone technology - no account needed), and can access many newspapers and reference materials.

At $399 it is cheaper than a lap-top and far less than I have spent on my library in any years since 1976.

I am looking for stories and experiences from those who have tried it, but I am thoroughly intrigued.

I am not peddling Kindle, but if you do order one, please use my link.

I am still pouting somewhat over the loss of a good cliche.

To Do Lists -A New Book by Sasha Cagen

I have been a long time advocate and practitioner of to-do lists. Never would I have imagined that someone would actually take the time to collect, catalog, and reflect upon the to-do lists of other people. Sasha Cagen has made the effort and accomplished this feat in To-Do List: From Buying Milk to Finding a Soul Mate, What Our Lists Reveal About Us.

When I make a to-do list, I am setting priorities, reserving (dedicating) time, committing myself to objectives, and more importantly, praying about my day because "many are the plans of a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails." (Proverbs 19:21 - NIV).

To-do lists are almost always overly ambitious and yet, I often inflate the importance and difficulty of some of the things that i put on my list. As a procrastinator, I find some items keep showing up again and again when a little five minute effort could eliminate them forever.

How I develop my lists, as Sasha Cagen suggests, reveals much about what I value, how I think, and how effective I am at accomplishing my goals.

The wise teacher of Proverbs (21:5 - NIV) said that "The plans of the diligent lead to profit  as surely as haste leads to poverty."

So this is very a very important as well as entertaining territory.

I approve of Sasha's work and recommend her blog.

You can order her book here and you can watch her talk about it in the video that follows.

Sasha Cagen: To-Do List: From Buying Milk to Finding a Soul Mate, What Our Lists Reveal About Us

Sasha Cagen: To-Do List: From Buying Milk to Finding a Soul Mate, What Our Lists Reveal About Us

Thanks to my MySpace friend, Mind's Eye for calling my attention to this treasure and potential classic.

Learn from Robert Kiyosaki and Change Your Friends

The people we associate with and learn from are a major factors in our financial and business success. Robert Kiyosaki chose to learn from his Rich Dad and many of us have chosen to learn from Robert and his friends.

Now Kiyosaki has started a discussion forum where people can receive much better advice than I can give. I choose to do some of my learning there.

Why should we change our friends?

Because they change us.

We become more like them as the years go by. We adopt their values and habits and adapt to their low expectations. We make their limitations our own and begin to think like they think because conversations seep back into our consciousness and unconsciousness as  well.

We continue to love our old friends and pray for them, but we can no longer make them our peers because we are changing, growing, and breaking free of the prisons in which they have entrapped their own goals and dreams.

We can be their mentors, but we cannot be their students any longer. We cannot help bring them up if we are letting them drag us down.

We can see them, enjoy their company from time to time, and lend them a hand when they need us. We just need to spend the bulk of our discretionary time with people who challenge, encourage, uplift us, and expand our thinking.

That is why one of the factors in how to ride a horse is to find one that can carry you, won't kick you off, and will not take you places you don't want to go.

This new forum is a great opportunity to make some new friends who will lift us, people who are seeking the same things from life - to be more than they already are.


The Fred Factor

68323: The Fred Factor: How Passion in Your Work and Life Can Turn the Ordinary into the Extraordinary

The Fred Factor: How Passion in Your Work and Life Can Turn the Ordinary into the Extraordinary

By Mark Sanborn / Random House, Inc

Is your professional commitment wavering? Do you just want to get the job done and go home? Find fresh energy and creativity for your life and work by imitating the example of Sanborn's postman, "Fred." Four Bible-based principles will help you make a difference every day, excel in your career, and make your daily life extraordinary. 114 pages, hardcover from Waterbrook.

My New Hero

I just heard the interview with Raff Esquith on NPR. I must say that he has made my heroes list.

I'll let the interview, excerpt, and book speak for themselves, but i am truly impressed by the energy, commitment, creativity, and thinking of this master teacher.

Areas of His Expertise

John Hodgman is hilarious in print and in his interview with Robert Siegel on NPR on September 5. Enjoy. Don't forget to download and view Th Secret Life of NPR or to purchase his book, The Areas of My Expertise.

You really do need to take a break from serious thoughts from time to time and laugh at absurdity if you intend to survive with a sound mind. I'm serious. Humor is no laughing matter.

Here are some suggestions (from me) for embracing the HUMOR in life:

Humility - The essence of humor is the ability to laugh at oneself. It is not self-deprecation; it is simply humility and the self-esteem and security necessary to be humble.

Understanding - It is necessary to have some insight into humanity in order to fully appreciate how silly we must look from the outside. The best humor of all actually loves and empathizes with humanity while appreciating its foibles and flaws.

Maturity - As you grow older, wiser, looser, and better informed, you have more of a smorgasbord of humorous material. Life itself becomes your best source of intelligent humor. The better your command of language, the keener your capacity for wit. The broader your experiences, the deeper your belly laugh. Maturity frees us to enjoy more of what is best about laughter - not at the expense of others, but with them.

Obvious and Ordinary - Humor takes what is obvious and allows it to entertain deeper or alternate meanings. If you want to enjoy the laughter of life, keep your eyes and ears open and be ready for those moments of serendipity when everything comes together, when timing is, indeed, everything.

Rip and Relax - Let it rip! Get over it. Let go of it. Relax. Give yourself permission to take a short vacation into the realm of the absurd.

Now go back and listen to that interview.



For Your Health
Nutritionals  - Natural from Nutrilite
Give the Perfect Gift - Let Them Choose


I am still posting from Calgary - actually Cocharane. There is a great view of the Rockies today. We sat in a room for rehearsal with windows overlooking those magnificant manifestations of divine creativity with little to obscure the view. How Great Thou Art!!!!

Check out this panorama .

Also - the picture below:

CochraneA view of Cochrane, Alberta, alongside the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, c. 1945. Watercolour by Walter Joseph Phillips (1884-1963).

ID #23247
Credit: Walter Joseph Phillips, National Archives of Canada, C-110922

To order:


Reading Time/Feeding Time

Leaders are readers - and listeners.

That means that they also spend a lot of money on books and audio and are always looking for ways to save.

Tell me I can't read and watch me shrivel up and die.

And I need fresh material. Many of the great stories and  essays have already been written, but many more are being written daily.  I crave the old and the new. Principles never  change, but challenges do and so do  strategies for applying principles. We need to be grounded in the past,  present in the present, and alert to the future  so that we can  be one step ahead of change.

We spend a great deal of time in our cars these days. For that reason, as it has often been said, we need to turn those vehicles into universities on wheels. If we are valuing our time behind the wheel as learning time, we wil be less stressed about traffic jams and less likely to be dialing our cell phones. Audio boks are an excellent option for those hours of driving.

My reading comes in waves where sometimes I am finishing a book a day and sometimes reading very slowly and digesting what I read. However, balanced out over the years of my life, I have spent tens of thousands of dollars on books and audio. Now I am looking for ways to save money without cutting back on consumption.

I shop for used books sometimes. There are numerous sources - online and in real time and space.

I use the library, but it is difficult to get the most current titles. No problem, there are thousands of classics I have not yet read. Get a library card.

I actually do buy new books and shop for the best deals I can get.

I borrow books, but I am at the mercy of the reading habits of my friends.

Just today, I discovered a new source - at least new to me - a subscription paperback and audio lending service. Check it out for yourself and see if it meets your needs. I am intrigued and intend to subscribe myself.


Reading through The Power of Full Engagement, I have started making applications to every area of my life - including my reading. I want to read  during times when I am mentally alert and receptive. I want to read until my mind starts to wander and then take a break. And then, for me to cross reference and cross polinate ideas and concepts and hold my own attention, I must be reading several (at least) books at a time on a variety of subjects and for a variety of purposes. I will read some in each daily or at least every few days.

So, I require stacks of books.

And I must write about them and on them (or in the case of borrowed books - on accompanying notebooks).

I need the right places to read effectively - not necessarily quiet and alone, but comfortable and stimulating.

Reading time is feeding time. we feed our minds, our imaginations, our emotions, our dreams, andour spirits. We even feed our bodies as we change pace and recover physical energy.

Whatever you do, keep reading.

What I Am Reading

I am reviewing some books by John Maxwell and a few other authors.  I am also reading a book on maximum engagement which seems appropriate for a slow down. That review will be coming. This is "get your head above water time" and it is quite productive. For a vacation, I''ve spent nearly the entire day in front of this computer - except for the Bible study this morning. We finished Philippians - again.

"Think on these things" is a powerful concept -especially as I am considering total engagement. The mind is the arena where God  shapes us as surely as He does our spirits.

The young man I was doing the study with suggested a correlation between love and faith in a context I had not considered. Not that I had never seen a relationship. He simply shed new light.

I owe Henry Neufeld a pile of work and a truckload of thanks for his aggregator. I'll get there, Henry!

I am sorting through some of my affiliate relationships and playing with the business side of all this. I have sorted through some. They are all pretty exciting. Feel free to download and visit some of these sites:

"Think on these things."

On what have I thought today. Cutting and pasting is pretty mindless as an activity, but it has given me some precious moments when I have not been problem-solving to reflect on higher matters.

"Whatsoever things are lovely."

I think I will focus on that as a meditation for a few moments. Excuse me while I mull it over.

Below is my attempt to add the javascript for Henry's blogroll:

Five People - One Life

I don't know when I last sat down to read a novel, but I did so today at a church member's insistence and I am glad I did.

It was an easy sell because I loved Mitch Alboms "Tuesdays with Morrie." So, I started reading "The Five People You Meet in Heaven" in earnest today. I read a few pages earlier in the week and I knew it would grab me when I had time.

I have to say that when I see something with the word "Heaven" in it, I am preconditioned to want to weed out misconceptions and leave a residue of sound theology and unknowable mystery. "Five People" is not a theological monograph; nor is it a New Age cloud of feel-goodisms. It is, as Albom says, a story about life and its meaning.

If you want to place it in a theological context, it is something like the judgment seat where the wood, hay, and stubble are separated from the gold, silver, and precious stones.

But it is not that either.

It is a celebration of life in an atmosphere of grace that embraces all of life, scars and stains, regrets and nightmares, disappointments and guilt as well as those moments that we cherish however fleeting.

It touched me.

Read it with a tissue handy - unless you didn't need one for Forest Gump, Field of Dreams, or the Passion of the Christ - unless you have no unresolved and nagging sense that maybe your life is something less than you'd hoped it would be - unless you need to fit this into your systematic theology.

It is not an allegory; it is not sentimental; it is not preachy. It is honest, affirming, and gutsy. Mitch Albom reflects on simple things and common hurts and enters into the experience of a character inspired by his uncle to bring us to the conclusion that our lives, interconnected and imperfect, have meaning and that the most mundane task is purposeful in the greater scheme of things.
Without even mentioning scripture, he illustrates scriptural principles such as forgiveness, love, providence, and peace with compelling sensitivity. We can learn these lessons in the hear and now. We can embrace life now. We can live on and in purpose.

What the character, Eddie learns in Heaven, we can learn in the gospel.

I will be reflecting on my own life over the next few days. Tomorrow, I will preach the good news of Jesus Christ. I will finally arrive, in the book of Romans, after a long indictment, to that place where we can proclaim that while we are all "mark-missers" (ie ... "sinners), there is a righteousness that is not arrived at through legality or ritual, available through grace. I will also be preaching from Luke on the healing grace of Jesus Christ.

If only I could communicate these timeless truths with as much grace and sensitivity as Mitch Albom communicated this story.

I read a great deal of non-fiction. Maybe I'll start reading an ocassional novel.


For Your Health
Nutritionals  - Natural from Nutrilite
Give the Perfect Gift - Let Them Choose
Baptist Temple Stuff
Relgion Forum - What's Hot

Organ Donation & Religion
What do various religions instruct us about organ donation? Share your thoughts and experiences.
No Command of 10 Commandments
Cue cards needed? Congressman supports bill to display Ten Commandments can only name three.

A Treat for Avid Philip Yancey Readers

I recomend one of Philip Yancey's Best books under my Recomended Reading because it crossed my mind just this week. It is Soul Survivor - How My Faith Survived the Church. Yancey surveys the lives and works of some of his very public heroes and reflects on why their lives helped solidify his personal faith. It is well worth a long, slow, deep read. For those who love reading anything Yancey writes (that would include me), Christianity Today has archived his articles at this address. There they are for the reading!


Recommended by Sherry Heyl

No sooner recommended than up for you to consider:

Thanks for the recommendation, Sherry.

I welcome reviews since I have only read excerpts. Most of the reviews I have read place it in an arena of spirituality where the language and elements of the world view may differ from my own evangelical theology. However, principles are principles and some of those quoted have universal application because truth is, itself universal.

Just be aware of that as you purchase and read and you may gain some insights.

Links to Reading and Learning Sites

If you love to read or learn, you'll find what you are looking for here:

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