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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Summer Reading & Summer Pics

I don't know about you, but Summer Reading used to immediately bring to mind: "Come on, do I really have to read Where the Red Fern Grows?!" (Incidentally, I think my best summer reading experience was the Summer I read Hatchet  - 13 y. old survives a plane crash and survives for 45 days in the wilderness using only a hatchet - he was the original Bear Grylls). Anywho, nowadays the summer reading experience is something I look forward to. So I thought I'd sally forth what I read this summer along with description - feel free to post back with any gems from your list.

#1 - Jack: A Life of C.S. Lewis by George Sayer. 464 pages. I've read so much of Lewis but have never read a full-length biography of his. Sayer knew Lewis well. Things I learned about Lewis - He was one lusty bloke before he put his faith in Christ. Sayers goes into this in some detail. Honestly, had Lewis been in his 20s while living in our era, he'd most likely be attracted to some hard core stuff on the web (if you know what I mean). He was so attracted to beauty, especially the beauty of a woman, that he greatly indulged in it vis-a-vis his thought life. When J.R.R. Tolkien explained Christ as the reality behind the beauty (or "myth"), Lewis found his heart's true home. But it was his penchant for passions and the constant struggle to focus on Christ as the object of His passions and pleasure with which I could most relate to Lewis. He struggled with co-dependency, was an incredibly faithful friend, and tirelessly, but quietly, cared for those in need. And, if you've ever watched the movie Shadowlands (Anthony Hopkins) which chronicles the end of Lewis' life dealing with the death of his wife, the book provides a more accurate and detailed handling of that time period (In the movie, Lewis is nebulously portrayed as having given up his faith, whereas in real-life, his struggle was more like that of the Psalmists - moving from despair toward hope and thanksgiving).

#2 - A Proverbs-Driven Life by Anthony Selvaggio. 201 pages. I read Proverbs in conjunction with 1 Corinthians over the Summer (the theme of wisdom being paramount in both). Thus, this book was a handy guide. Great chapters on friendship, making wise choice of a spouse, marital faithfulness, and childrearing. 

#3 - Autobiography of George Mueller, or a Million and a Half in Answer to Prayer. George Mueller is known for setting up scores of Orphanages throughout England in the early to mid 1800s. But what's truly remarkable about this man is his prayer life. I kept writing in the margins: "Didn't leave God alone" "Didn't leave God alone" (x20). And as a result, God did not leave George Mueller alone. If you want to be inspired in your prayer life with both a lofty and authentic example, try this on for size. You can also read a shorter version which has compiled "highlights" of his autobiography - it's called Answers to Prayer. And, yeah, he had a neck beard...and pulled it off!

#4 - The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson.272 pages. I don't just read stuff from the Family Christian Book Stores (besides, those places are kind of a rip-off, unless you like "Testa-mints"). I love to read about what makes people tick - why people do/think/feel as they do. Does your boss (or pastor??) demonstrate: Glibness/superficial charm, Grandiose sense of self-worth, Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom. These are the first three items on the Psychopath Test developed by Bob Hare and utilized around the world to help identify psychopaths and sociopaths. Jon Ronson, a journalist who also wrote The Men who Stare at Goats, is hilarious as he attempts to hunt down and speak with psychopaths, tries to figure out what's legit in the madness industry, attempts to ascertain if he's a psychopath, and discovers that CEOs of the Fortune 500 companies are far more likely to be psychopaths than your average Joe or Josephine.

Okay enough of that, I promised the peeps of Sunrise Community Church some pictures from our Oelschlager Summer Adventures (Grandiose sense of self-worth??):

Ziplining with Katie's side of family (Yes, all those people are related)
Mason's first time surfing.
Katie tubing on North Carolina's Dan River. Gage overwhelmed by life preserver.
River-tubing in the U.S. South has quite a clientele let me tell you.
Boogie-board Racing with my Dad
(he had a head start..I eventually won...should I really be writing about this?)
At one point, there were 10 children in this inflatable pool which was tenuously held up by duct tape
as the children continuously (and joyously?) walked in a synchronized circle.
U.S. Independence Day Celebration (4th of July).
We never really seemed to ride the bikes - just walked them along in a hot, slow death march.
Yes, I'm related to a (young) Uncle Sam


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