Day 16: Read #write31days

One of the ways that we spent time with Mom in the hospital and the palliative ward was reading to her.  She requested a long-time favourite of Stuart McLean’s Vinyl Cafe stories (of Dave and Morley and family) and we continued to bring in all of his books.

I don’t know if you’re familiar with Stuart McLean but his stories of Dave and Morley invoke a lot of emotion.  Sometimes you find yourself nearly in tears but usually loud laughs would escape from your mouth (and heart!) before you could even stop it (but why would you want to?).  Sometimes Mom would start laughing so hard that it would bring on a coughing/asthma fit and it would take her a while to catch her breath.  But she would say it was worth it.

Of course we read other books or passages of Scripture to her, but Vinyl Cafe stories were the main staple.  Oh the joy they gave my Mom!  Oh the spirits that were lifted!  Oh the gift of stories and silliness and laughter in such a dark period and place!

“Margin” free Kindle version

I just saw this on Amazon: “Margin” by Richard A. Swenson M.D. is free right now for your Kindle or Kindle application for your computer or phone.

I read it for the first time MANY many years ago but really enjoyed it (aside from his long long description of a life without margin – but I realise he needed to explain what the problem was in order to then explain why and how we need ‘margin’ in our lives).

It’s really a must-read.

for readers and writers

Like free books?  Don’t mind writing up reviews to get free books?  I sound like a commercial, don’t I?

I was reading through a blog the other day and discovered BookSneeze – a website through which you can get free Christian books published by Thomas Nelson (limited selection available at a time) on the condition that you agree to write up in 200 words your honest opinion about what you just read (or saw, because there seem to be DVDs there as well).  The deal sounds a bit too good to be true.  Free books?  Mailed to you for free?  In exchange for an honest review?  Well, take a look at the selection first.

It seems to me that these books and movies are perhaps not very popular or well written books (or have possibly just been published and aren’t known of yet) and THAT’s why they want you to write up a review.  They just want some reviews out there.  Many of the authors are well-known but their recently published book (or produced movie) isn’t perhaps a best-seller.  This is my conclusion at least from reading up a bit on a few selections on Amazon.  So you may be in for a real doozy.  That said, there may be some real gems among them.

As for me, I have a lot of books on the go already but decided to try it out (how long will it take for the book or DVD to arrive here in Thailand, I wonder?) and start with a DVD.  I’ll let you know when I’ve eventually written up a review for it.  A doozy or a gem…?  At least I’m free to write what I really think!

If you’re seriously interested in getting free books in exchange for honest reviews, check out more opportunities listed here on some random guy’s blog.  Enjoy!

free audio version of “The Pursuit of God” by A.W. Tozer

Years ago I received a copy of A.W. Tozer’s “The Pursuit of God” and attempted to get into it several times but didn’t get very far.  It’s a fairly short book – he wrote it throughout one night on a train trip from Chicago to Texas – and it’s actually an amazing, invigorating and challenging read.  But for some reason it just didn’t initially ‘click’ with me.  You know what I mean?  Well, when I did actually get into it, I LOVED it.  Everyday in my journal I was quoting excessively long passages of it.  Actually I think I quoted it a whole lot on this blog as well. 

In any case, I highly recommend either reading it or listening to it sometime.  It’s available on for free download during the month of July. 

whetting our appetite and being changed…

Worship does not satisfy our hunger for God – it whets our appetite.  Our need for God is not taken care of by engaging in worship – it deepens.  It overflows the hour and permeates the week.  The need is expressed in a desire for peace and security.  Our everyday needs are changed by the act of worship.  We are no longer living from hand to mouth, greedily scrambling through the human rat race to make the best we can out of a mean existence.
Eugene Peterson, “A Long Obedience in the Same Direction”, p. 56 

reflecting on the cross of Christ book suggestion

Nancy Guthrie edited a book I quoted from back in December called “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus: Experiencing the Peace and Promise of Christmas.”  I just discovered another book she has edited with excerpts from essays and sermons that focus on the cross of Christ: “Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross: Experiencing the Passion and Power of Easter.”

Although it’s a little too late to order it from Amazon or wherever in order to enjoy it this year, I did find a place where you can view it online.