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NGK "NGK" (Mt. Washington, CA)

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Me Talk Pretty One Day
Me Talk Pretty One Day
by David Sedaris
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 13.00
166 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars A funny little treat..., April 19 2004
This review is from: Me Talk Pretty One Day (Paperback)
(...) This book took me a while to get through because I constantly was rereading various chapters to friends and family members, so once I finally finished it, I had literally read some of the essays 3 or 4 times. Maybe that's what added to the time spent on it.
Sedaris is a very talented writer, and while the critics comments on the back of the book may be a bit over the top ("wildly entertaining" seems a little too complimentary for a book of essays, even if they are hilarious at times--when I think of "wildly entertaining," I think of other things...not reading something that's very funny). All that said and done, most people free enough to think and relate to what it being human really means should resonate with much of Sedaris' thoughts.
His take on Americans in France, and french theaters and American movie theaters made me want to pack my bags and head to Paris. Also, his crossword puzzle-obsession and subway-story regarding two Americans who mistake him for a pick-pocket is among the book's many treasures. Once you read it, you'll find yourself remembering Sedaris' voice within his stories, and that is what makes it even more funny. It might not stand out to you as you read it as much, but give it a day or two, and I'm sure you'll be talking to friends about how much you loved "Me Talk Pretty One Day." Thanks Dave for a great time!

Girl Meets God: On the Path to a Spiritual Life
Girl Meets God: On the Path to a Spiritual Life
by Lauren Winner
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 12.24
45 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Neville meets Lauren., March 29 2004
In "Girl Meets God," (a title I'm convinced the author did NOT come up with, and is not really fitting to the book---perhaps the cover should change designs too) Lauren Winner does some pretty incredible things. She manages to tap into C.S. Lewis-like intellectual thought, write like Anne Lamott, think like a Cambridge graduate student and still comes across as being smart enough and human enough, to live out Jesus' loving call. Anybody interested in Jewish tradition will be fascinated (like I was) by how much this tradition aids in the Judeo-Christian beliefs.
Not only do I admire Winner for such a provocative, insightful, and honest memoir, I also respect her for writing with such clarity, free from any "Christian rules." She knows how to be human, which is something so many Christians forget. For a look into how the next generation will learn, think, and process the idea of God, check out this book. It's a great memoir. Thanks Lauren.

I Tell You a Mystery: Life, Death, and Eternity
I Tell You a Mystery: Life, Death, and Eternity
by J.C. Arnold
Edition: Paperback
45 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Short, memorable, and interesting., March 29 2004
Easily a book you could read in a day or less, "I TELL YOU A MYSTERY" offers real human stories and insights into life and death. It sounds like a downer of a book, but it actually filled me with much more hope than I thought it would. I will remember a few of these stories forever, no doubt, and I'm sure they will help me in my own journey, when I begin to lose those closest to me.

Circle Of Quiet A
Circle Of Quiet A
by Madeleine L'Engle
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 13.36
102 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars A book that draws you closer and closer into truth..., Dec 26 2003
This review is from: Circle Of Quiet A (Paperback)
After the first 1/4 of the book, I was unsure of where it was going. Then, after entering into "kairos" (as Madeleine refers to it as..the Greek work for time which means time not being confined) with the book, I found myself getting deeper and deeper into it.
The first time Madeleine really goes off and tells a story of her small town and the new couple that came in and "changed" things up a bit, I started to smile. I could relate...ever so much and this made me play out my own story as I read hers. I became so involved that I forgot the time, forget what page I was on and almost forgot that I was reading. That is where I first experienced kairos with "A Circle of Quiet" and thankfully, it was a transcendent moment at that.
I still am thinking of the title and wondering if that is wholly appropriate for a book like this. I'm not sure. I think it means something a little different to me....but again, this is subjective stuff and extremely personal. Anyone with an imagination alive enough will experience something deep and profound and beautiful and wonderful from this book. Anyone who lacks this, I would suggest rediscovering your imaginiation before entering into this book: truth is overflowing here, but when you don't believe in imagination, mystery and myth, it will be very hard to read this book and get anything out of it. :)
Thanks again Madeleine for a wonderful read; although it took me for a loop, I'm glad where I ended up by the last page.

Madeleine L'Engle Herself: Reflections on a Writing Life
Madeleine L'Engle Herself: Reflections on a Writing Life
by Madeleine L'Engle
Edition: Hardcover
17 used & new from CDN$ 14.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every writer must get this book..., Dec 26 2003
A writer's dream of a book that could only come from Madeleine L'Engle herself! This collection comes mostly from L'Engle's nonfiction books and since I happened to have most of them, much of this book seemed a little redundant and like I've read it all before. But, it would be the perfect gift for any serious writer who takes characters, words and story as seriously as they should be taken. A wonderful gem of a book that no working writer or struggling writer or unpublished/published writer should be without. Trust me on this one.

The Order
The Order
DVD ~ Heath Ledger
Offered by niff78
Price: CDN$ 4.17
25 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1.0 out of 5 stars Horrible film, horrible cinematography, horrible story, etc., Dec 20 2003
This review is from: The Order (DVD)
Not only is this one of the worst movies in terms of technical aspects, but it's one of the worst in terms of its plot and direction as well. Brian should stick to writing, b/c it's here, where he seems to be more on (he adapted the story and wrote the screenplay for MYSTIC RIVER, which is one of 2003's best films) but here, he tries to do it all and fails miserably.
Do not see this movie. Do not see it because of Heath Ledger and do not see it because of anyone else. One minute, Heath is walking through a cathedral, the next minute, he's swimming in a large river that seems to have been hidden in the cathedral's walls....hmm....symbolism? I think not. Just really really really bad screenwriting, period.

Bright Evening Star: Mystery of the Incarnation
Bright Evening Star: Mystery of the Incarnation
by Madeleine L'Engle
Edition: Hardcover
21 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Ecounter the Child-like, Christ-loving life of Madeleine...., Nov. 29 2003
This is my sixth Madeleine L'Engle nonfiction book I've read and it was definately one of the better of the six (even though all of them were exceptional).
"Bright Evening Star" explores childhood and the wonders and mysteries that have haunted all of our imaginations and filled our hearts for as long as we remember. In this, Madeleine transforms faith into being a radical, Child-like journey, rather than a stoic, heady and intellectual debate. This was much needed in my heart and life and took me back to a day where my sister and I would take adventures on our bike in our southern neighborhood, pretending to be going on a trip across the country. It was a wonderful memory that needed to be rekindled and remembered. Thank you so much Madeleine.
(Also, Madeleine's books have a way of meeting you right where you are---this book came perfectly into my life and right along with what God has been laying on my heart lately---honestly, every book can do this if the writer is close enough to God, and since she is, she was able to be the vessel for my own relationship and allowed me to stand in awe of Jesus, the risen Christ, once and again).

How Movies Helped Save My Soul: Finding Spiritual Fingerprints in Culturally Significant Films
How Movies Helped Save My Soul: Finding Spiritual Fingerprints in Culturally Significant Films
by G Higgens
Edition: Paperback
34 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Thank You Gareth for this dream-like, Jesus-loving book..., Nov. 29 2003
Contrary to the review on this book that questioned whether or not this book was even "Christian," (which makes me laugh---if that person thinks it's not "Christian," and is judging books on the "Christian" and "Non-Christian" books than that's fine---it's just an inconsistent way to live called "living in legalism," that's all)....anyway, this book is wonderful and personal and yes, some times he may make you a little upset or make you scratch your head and wonder, but the more he did this, the more I began to question what I believed in my own life.
Although people in the Christian community would call me a movie fanatic, I had not seen many of the movies Gareth discussed (but it was okay, it made me want to go out and buy them all---or wait, is that a good thing?:). It doesn't matter though, because this guy feels like my long-lost movie-buff friend and after the book is over, if you make it that far (because I sense many Christians who are not as passionate and serious and glorious in their love for Jesus that will simply close the book a few pages into it), he will be yours too.
Gareth talks a lot about Christian community (and it's all really good stuff here too) and God, and love, and life...but he never comes across as being too preachy or too political. He's humble and converstational-like in his approach, which makes it easier for me to take in all that he has to say.
My two passions in life are the Church (people coming to know God interpersonally and in true Christian community) and Movies. Gareth combines these two so brilliantly, it's like he's writing my dream book. Every serious "Emerging Church" or "Postmodern pilgrim" seminary student should read this book not because it will give them "new methods and ways to save the world," but because it will rock your faith, give you a deeper hunger for God and force you to live in the moment, from day-to-day, constantly aiming to become more Christ-like. Pastors, Church-goers, college students, movie-loving/Jesus-toting brothers and sisters...get this book, now!

Jesus Asked
Jesus Asked
by Conrad Gempf
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 11.67
36 used & new from CDN$ 0.26

3.0 out of 5 stars Great book, Great questions...., Nov. 27 2003
This review is from: Jesus Asked (Paperback)
Despite some very minor editing problems, "Jesus Asked" is a fascinating conceptual book about the nature of who Jesus was. It's very different than what your Sunday School teacher may have taught you, but it is something that cannot go unaddressed in the Christian community. While the book's basic idea (Jesus asked more questions than he gave answers) is groundbreaking enough, the rest of the book, while sometimes very profound, is a quick, easy read that is definitely worth the time you take to read it.

If Grace Is True: Why God Will Save Every Person
If Grace Is True: Why God Will Save Every Person
by Philip Gulley
Edition: Hardcover
19 used & new from CDN$ 3.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Every Christian must read and think about this!, Nov. 9 2003
Okay. The big problem with many people in how they approach this book is that they fear that universalism means that "all roads lead to heaven." So, when the authors talk about their belief that God will save every person, they go about it with the mindset that it doesn't matter what people "do" because God will inevitably save all. Okay, stay with me on this.
If we believe this as believers, then what is our motivation behind God's grace and love. Is it a "do" philosophy? Is it ultimately up to us to "evangelize" the gospel to death or really preach the true message (love of Christ) to the world in need. I recognize that it is by grace that we have been saved and I realize that faith without works is dead. However, when people (including myself sometimes) respond with the rebuttle, "then why should we evangelize?" if God is going to save all...this really scares me. To these people, like the authors, I feel like we've missed God's love and grace. I wonder if we too are sill one of the lost sheep. If we were in love with God, then we should be infuriated with passion and love for Christ to live out daily no matter how many times we get rejected.
I think people fear universalism, the word because they think that be adherring to it, they must live individually, as if there's no point in spreading the love of Christ. Again, if this is the typical "Christian" response, then I question why we call ourselves Christians. If we wish to throw out the love of God when we realize that in due time and in the fullness and power of God through time, He will bring everyone back to his loving arms, then why should we be distraught? This should be great news for us, even though it is hard to resist thinking otherwise.
As far as hell, I think it does it exist...for now. BUT, I believe God to be bringing those back to Him who may have ended up in hell too. Death is not the final toll. It isn't for lovers of Christ and it isn't eternally for people who've denied Christ as well. However, there are verses that I've looked at they say, those who deny Christ will be denied after death. But Romans 8:38-39 and that part in Revelation where it says, "One day every tongue will confess you are God and one day every knee will bow," leads me to think like Madeleine L'Engle...it leads me to think that God in his greatness, goodness and perfect Love will be reconciled with all of us eventually. If that is called universalism, then I'm a universalist. I think every Christian should be. However, every Christian does not think this is the definition of universalism. It's a tricky word...that's what's really in question here. (Also, you will not agree with everything said in this book, but aside from this, you cannot dispute the whole book because some of the author's theological beliefs seem to be askewed. I believe in the Trinity, I believe in the inerrancy of Scripture, I believe Jesus is God's son, was crucified and rose again and is alive. I believe that Love will ultimately conquer evil. I don't believe it will be that love wins the democratic majority vote. That is the fault of many believers). Thanks guys, for some thought-provoking words.

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