Saturday, March 12, 2011

On Books

On this sunny Saturday morning, I find myself biding my time in the local Starbucks. I have a couple of hours before our monthly meeting of the Ozark's Chapter of the American Christian Writers' meeting and didn't feeling like driving home after working the mid only to turn around and head back to Springfield after a couple of hours. As long as I have a couple of hours, free wi-fi and free coffee refills; I thought I'd write a bit on some of the things that have been rolling around in the otherwise empty space in my head.

Last night, I finally got around to finishing the book I started a couple of weeks ago.  For some reason, I wasn't well focused on reading it and so, even though it was interesting and entertaining, it took me a while to get through it.  The book was Lynne Truss' book on punctuation, Eats, Shoots and Leaves. It's an fun look at the struggles that our society seems to have with proper punctuation. The joke that inspired the title is this:

A panda walks into a café. He orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and proceeds to fire it at the other patrons.
'Why?' asks the confused, surviving waiter amidst the carnage, as the panda makes towards the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder.
'Well, I'm a panda,' he says, at the door. 'Look it up.'
The waiter turns to the relevant entry in the manual and, sure enough, finds an explanation. 'Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves.'


It's a good read if you're a self proclaimed grammar nazi like my daughter or a wannabe writer like myself.

I also started and finished a quick read last night: Todd Burpo"s Heaven is for Real. Though it is a quick, easy read, it has some simple but sound theology and will have you smiling at times and then pausing to clear the tears from your eyes moments later so that you can continue to read. 

Too often, we get so wrapped up in theology that we miss the simple message of the Gospel: God loves you (He really loves you!), and Jesus died for you. Leave it to the simple understanding of a four year old to keep the truth plain and pure. 
If you are a believer, a follower of Jesus; this book will affirm much of what you've been taught and clarify the simple message of the Bible.  
If you are a skeptic, or a doubter, or a seeker of truth; this book may answer some questions or give you some new things to ponder. In either case, if you have questions that you want answered, but don't want them published, just e-mail me at or comment here but tell me that you don't want it published.

As a final bonus to today's post, I want to share an mp3 download. It is a 10 minute message that was delivered by my son last weekend at a communion service at Holy Trinity Church in Chicago. I hope that you take the time to listen to it. Aaron did a great job sharing about what our response should be to a Holy God. To help you as you listen, here is the text to Psalm 99.

John <><

1 comment:

Mike said...

Interesting looking book. Throw it, in the car, for your next trip to TD.