Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Monday, September 12, 2011
Friday, September 9, 2011
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Friday, August 26, 2011
|Cans, Kegs and Malt|
|Words to Remember|
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Sunday, August 7, 2011
|Summit's Really Big Stocked Fridge|
- · Summit is a very green company. Not only do used foodstuff and water get reused or resold for other purposes but the major brewing equipment was second hand within the plant. The bottler also was purchased used at a large discount from another brewer, while Summit also sold off their old bottler to yet another brewer. This pattern of buying used equipment means that equipment in the plant was gathered from locations as far as California and Germany.
- · No matter your age, everyone loves standing in a giant refrigerator. I can remember when I had taken kid groups through pizza restaurants with big freezers and watched them giggle. Adults do the exact same thing.
- · The staff and volunteers really knew their beer and were enthusiastic in sharing it.
- · Summit is generous. The samples they gave participants were far from a taste but a satisfying draft. Additionally they gave away several tap handles in a short trivia game which we found out later cost over $25 a piece in the gift shop.
- · Spirtual conversations are everywhere as I bored tour guides and my companions with information from The Search for God and Guinness.
- · Honeymoon Saison from the Unchained Series: I chose this since it was a limited edition brew that I was not likely to stumble on before it was retired. It was a very hoppy beer that my friends did not enjoy. I found it interesting but not something that I would typically select for myself. But the unchained series and Honeymoon Saison are getting some nice press locally.
- · Silver Anniversary Ale: Again with this being a limited edition I had to sample it. Being a highly trained palate, joke, I found the fruit flavors added to this ale to give a tang that I just did not appreciate. Tang, is that a real word? My companion who also sampled this brew also did not like it.
- · Summit Oatmeal Stout: I love dark beers and was planning to sample Summit’s porter. But availability and knowing my palate dictated my decisions. I tried the first two because they would not be widely available. The stout beat out the porter because the stout is only available by draft. And honestly the spots that have the stout available don’t serve Happy Meals so I would not be likely to stumble on it. This was by far my favorite of the three samples with its dark smooth goodness. My mouth is salivating as I think about my beer desert.
|Great Northern Porter Would Like Your Attention!|
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Friday, July 15, 2011
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Friday, July 8, 2011
Friday, July 1, 2011
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
The Blessing: Giving the Gift of Unconditional Love and Acceptance Revised & Updated by John Trent and Gary Smalley
“1. Meaningful and appropriate touch
and bless you.
I'll make you famous;
you'll be a blessing.
I'll bless those who bless you;
those who curse you I'll curse.
All the families of the Earth
will be blessed through you (Gen 12:2-3, The Message)
Monday, June 27, 2011
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Kathryn Nixon and Ana Boudreau in The Spirit in Football presents the fruits of the spirits from Galatians 5:22-23 to children through images and word pictures related to football. For example, they present to children the idea of gentleness by not reacting badly to a penalty. Or one learns about joy through the excitement of a touchdown. Each of the nine fruits of the spirit is presented in two pages, with one page providing a supporting verse and the other page matching the specific fruit of the spirit to a concept familiar to those who enjoy football. The book also includes an introduction from National Football League player Matt Hasselbeck and a football themed prayer.
I’m a sports fan and looked forward to sharing this book with my son. He really enjoys playing with sports balls so I thought the pictures would grab his interest. He, a young three year old, sat patiently through a full reading of the book. But on a personal level he was more engaged with the author’s baseball book on the fruits of the spirit. At this time, the fruits of the spirit are over his head. But, this book does help serve to introduce concepts like kindness and self control to young children and begin the foundations of character building.
Review Copy Provided by The B&B Media Group, Inc.
Kathryn Nixon and Ana Boudreau in The Spirit in Baseball presents the fruits of the spirits from Galatians 5:22-23 to children through images and word pictures related to baseball. For example, they present to children the idea of patience through waiting for one’s turn at bat. Or one learns about joy through the excitement of a homerun. Each of the nine fruits of the spirit is presented in two pages, with one page providing a supporting verse and the other page matching the specific fruit of the spirit to a concept familiar to those who enjoy baseball. The book also includes an afterward from Mrs. Nixon’s husband Trot Nixon, former Major League Baseball player, and a baseball themed prayer.
I’m a big baseball fan, so this book caught my interest since I could share faith and baseball at the same time with my son. But to be honest, as a young three year old what engaged him was finding the baseball in every picture. He really likes sports balls. So the great news was he would be willing to sit through multiple reads since he could find the baseball every time. But alas the fruits of the spirit are at this time over his head. But, this book does help serve to introduce concepts like kindness and self control to young children.
Review Copy Provided by The B&B Media Group, Inc.
Monday, June 6, 2011
Ian Morgan Cron in Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me recounts key moments in his life and his growing relationship with God. Cron was born to affluent parents, including a father who was an executive for Screen Gems working in the United Kingdom. His parents socialized with the rich and famous in London, but the senior Cron’s entertainment career was wasted by a curse, the curse of alcoholism. Oh, and his father worked for the fledging CIA on an occasional basis! Cron grew up in fear of this father and seeking to gain his approval and at times just approval. As a young man he developed his own substance abuse problem, which he struggled and struggles with. Along with Cron’s need to connect to his father, Cron also describes hs desir to connect to God in a meaningful way and how he used substance abuse to replicate feeling close to God.
Overall Jesus, My Father the CIA and Me is a highly readable book. The episodes from Cron’s life are typically engaging and you are able to enter into the incidents with Cron. My biggest complaint is Cron occasionally uses phrases or makes cultural references that belong to today and not Cron’s earlier years. For example he makes a reference to “$#*! My Dad Says” which simply removed me from his storytelling taking me a few minutes to return. Cron provides his readers a generally enjoyable tale, which records one man’s walk with addiction and God. It is the sort of summer read that one can both find entertainment and meaning in.
Review Copy Provided by Thomas Nelson
Thursday, June 2, 2011
For the purposes of this review, I want to focus primarily on Spurgeon’s thoughts. Though Alcorn’s commentary is helpful and helps readers get to the point of sermons written in the language of the 19th century. Spurgeon overall paints a picture of heaven that is exciting, better than one can expect and adventurist. Spurgeon chaffs at those who view heaven as a boring uninteresting existence that humans would not want to spend an eternity in. Instead heaven is a place of rest and sabbath where believers will finally know Jesus in a personal manner. The saved will live in heaven as kings, redeemed by the work of Christ. In heaven there will be no place for sin, but there will be room for laughter and joy. Spurgeon believed that believers would retain their personal identities and friendships, deeper than we could have in the old earth, in the restored creation. This is a devotional book and the cheery and exciting picture that Spurgeon paints of heaven is highly encouraging. On a side note there have been a lot of discussion about heaven and what does it mean to be an Universalist. Spurgeon makes clear that he believes that he believes that there will be more in heaven than those that are lost to hell, an existence without God. Alcorn states his belief that Spurgeon is not an Universalist in anyway, as Jesus is the key to salvation. But it does lead to questions about what does it mean to be an Universalist and the importance to provide each other grace in this debate. In my opinion, we are currently experiencing an vigorous theological debate amongst believers about heaven. In short, it’s nice to see where we have been already to help us determine where we are going.
Review Copy Provided by Tyndale House Publishers
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
• The True Friend: Leave No Man Behind
• The Humble Hero: Develop a God Sized Vision
• The Servant Leader: I Am Third
• The Moral Motivator: Make a Difference
• The Bold Adventurer: Don’t Sit Around
• The Noble Knight: Called to Duty
• The Heart Patient: Give Up Control
This is followed by discussions of issues that boys will have to face in a virtuous way as they move into manhood. These topics including relationships, sex, drugs and alcohol, school, success and other issues boys are sure to need to address head on. Every chapter ends with a set of discussion/reflection questions that can help boys examine their own thoughts on the material.
My academic training is history. The old adage was we tell you what we are going to tell you, tell you and then tell you what we told you. Chapter 3 “Flight Pattern” seemed like a great tell them what you’re going to tell them chapter introducing the virtues of a man. Each one of those virtues deserves an in-depth examination. Instead the chapters that follow deal with issues facing boys and young men not further exploration of the seven virtues. Now the discussions of things like sex are frank and handled in a mature and non-demeaning way. But what is missing are strong ties back to the virtues like “The Noble Knight.”
How would I recommend using this book? First, it would be a good discussion piece between fathers and sons. The book would help break the ice on topics I would have loved to have discussed with my own father. I don’t remember my father in I having “the talk” or evening having a glancing conversation on issues like pornography. This book makes it so you can’t but not talk about those issues. It’s that blunt conversation that would make me questioning using the book in some settings as a small group resource. For a group of mature teens willing to engage in a serious conversation about these issues there could be benefits in going through this book in a group setting. But for younger and less mature boys, the use of the proper words for sexual organs will likely result in snickers and laughs. The authors suggest reading the book before age 12, which may work in their setting of a boys school. However, it may not work for every youth leader in their setting with that age group. And for a less mature, and maybe some mature adults, having conversations about sex, your body, or puberty with boys could be problematic.
Overall, this is a good book that outlines the issues that boys face today. The picture of the journey from boyhood to manhood as an adventure is engaging and accurate. And the use of airplane imagery will likely hook some boys reading the book. The best part of this book is it examines some difficult issues, but in a honest, Biblical and grace filled manner. And while some readers may cringe at these topics, transparency is the book’s true strength.
Review Copy Provided by The B&B Media Group, Inc.
Friday, May 20, 2011
I went into this book a little apprehensive. I thought Wild at Heart very insightful but also not my typical preferred content. So I went into this book prepared not to enjoy it. Well, I was wrong. I love how the Eldredges focus on marriage as a story, but not just any story but an epic battle between good and evil for your marriage. I believe this imagery speaks to the heart of a man and is more effective in communicating truth than a 12 step self help fix your marriage book. And let’s be honest, it’s likely the husband and the wife that needs to be wooed into reading a book on marriage. Additionally, the chapters do move from topic to topic, but they don’t give us a checklist to fix a marriage but instead show how couples are attacked in different aspects of their marriage and how Jesus can be invited into that particular battle. I find their advice highly practical and realistic, feeling like advice from those that have reached a spiritually mature place in their marriage to those at the earlier steps. They are clear, your marriage will not be perfect, it will not be a fairy tale, it will have ups and down and they are not going to try to convince you otherwise just because you are a Christian. Speaking of realism, I found their discussion on sex honest, transparent and somewhat refreshing in seeing a Christian couple be honest about the need for sex and how they have been sexually disconnected at times and how they have reconnected. If asked today to recommend a book on marriage, I would wholeheartedly reach first for Love & War.
Review Copy Provided by WaterBrook Multnomah
Thursday, May 12, 2011
This is a book I have wanted to read for a few years. I love Batterson’s view of a relationship with God as an adventure. That language and word picture is highly attractive to me, a fan of action epics. Who doesn’t want to engage themselves in an adventure, an important adventure at that as one becomes open to the influence of God in their life? Overall, that’s an exciting proposition. And overall Wild Goose Chase is an enjoyable, easy to read book that reminds us that Christians are not called to boring mediocre lives. We were called for adventure. The only criticisms I can give are minor. I was hoping to get more from the book about the Holy Spirit, which is painted as the Wild Goose by the Celtic Christians Batterson cites. Instead, in my mind, it was best to thing of the Wild Goose for this book as a relationship with the Trinity and not the Holy Spirit alone. Additionally, some of Batterson’s stories were ones that I was familiar with. I’m assuming they were used in Primal or Soul Print which I have also read. But even if repetitive, I wish I had read this book before those two and enjoyed it more than his more recent books.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
To Be Perfectly Honest: One Man’s Year of Almost Living Truthfully Could Change Your Life. No Lie by Phil Callaway
When I agreed to review this book, I was looking for something different than what I typically read. I honestly was trying to seek out a humorous book. And Callaway has plenty of amusing stories and observations, though I honestly, okay I’m going to use honest and truth as much as possible in this review, never had a full out belly laugh. Callaway is very truthful with his reader about how situations made him feel and his opinions on what occurred. He does not hide that he would rather be playing and reaching new high scores in Pac-Man instead of reading his Bible, as a good man of God should. He provides us honest impressions of his interactions with other Christians and how we have failed, he is a reformed Pharisee in his own words. So I do believe this is a very transparent reflection of a man of faith and provides us a window to Callaway’s mind a man honestly seeking to follow Jesus. However, I don’t believe it delivers as a summary of an experiment of truth. Callaway does mention his truth project, but he is not always 100% truthful. For example he has an email exchange with Nigerian scammers where he gives the impression that he wishes to participate in the scammers request. He provides an explanation of why this allowable, but he is not 100 percent truthful. Also when reading the summary of the book I was thinking of a text along the lines of A.J. Jacobs The Year of Living Biblically a book where Jacobs documents his own extreme social experiment. That book delivers due to Jacobs’ review of what his year did to him. It’s especially highly engaging since Jacobs is not a man of faith. Basically I was hoping there was a more in-depth explanation of what his experiment meant to him than the five pages provided from a position closer to my own worldview. I could have taken from this text the same lessons and reflections on a Christian life without the addition of a year of living in truth. And that’s my honest take on this book. I wouldn’t lie to you.
Review Copy Provided by WaterBrook Multnomah
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Greg Wright has been asked by lots of other dads, how did you get such a good relationship with your daughters? Wright explains his journey to better relating to his four daughters in Daddy Dates. As a father of four girls, Wright came to the realization that he was struggling as a dad. In reflecting, and trying to be logical and planful, to overcome this problem, Wright developed a mission statement, “Don’t Screw Up.” He realized as he considered his relationships that as a teenager he was an expert dater and that in dating a man, or boy, seeks to know more about the female he is pursuing. So Wright, relying on past successes decided to date his daughters. He outlines his rules for daddy dates, the rationale behind some of his choices around daddy dates and how daddy dates have changed as his daughters have grown older. One of the keys to daddy dates is Wright teaching his daughters how they should be treated by the young men that eventually will pursue them romantically. Wright calls his daughters on the phone to make dates, which they can refuse, picks them up at home and shows them the courtesies that any father would want a young man to give their daughter. He is even know to dress up for their time together. In the end, Wright does not claim to have all the answers, in fact he notes he is still learning. Wright makes it clear that daddy dates are about interacting with his daughters so he can learn more about them while also sharing life lessons. A daddy date where no conversation has occurred is a failure.
This book is short and easy to read. As a father of a young girl the topic instantly had me hooked. What dad doesn’t want to get advice from another dad, especially one that has established solid relationships with his girls. Additionally, the book has led to discussion within my house. My wife and I have discussed daddy dates in detail as I read the book. These conversations went beyond the daddy date concept but grew to include how we would like our daughter to learn self respect and what she should expect from boys. Not everything Wright proposes may be for every family. In Wright’s house romantic dating is not allowed, it is daddy’s turn to date his girls others can date his daughters later. For my family that is an issue that we have not made a decision on. But again, it’s very beneficial to see another couple’s rationale for that decision and how they have implemented it in their own home. Regardless your opinion of daddy dating, this book definitely sparks discussion amongst parents.
Review Copy Provided by Thomas Nelson
Monday, April 18, 2011
Okay, I have to admit it. In the past I have not been a fan of Lucado’s “recycled” writings. Most of this has been due to poor editing or the clear reuse of past material. Lucado informs his reader that some of the responses do in fact come from past writings, though it is only explicitly called out twice that the response came from a past book. However, in Max on Life, the editing works well. The responses really do read like responses to questions. It does not feel like you are reading a copy and paste from other writings. You can easily see Lucado sitting down and writing these out at his desk as a reply to real letters. As always Lucado’s writing is highly accessible and easy to read. If anything, I find myself chuckling as I read some of the responses on heaven and hell, which includes Lucado stating that we would find in heaven many who had not heard the name of Jesus until they awoke to eternity and that people put themselves in hell through their own choices. Though I agree with these responses and see them as highly orthodox, I wonder if this book had been named Rob Bell on Life if Lucado’s views on heaven and hell would have been more heavily debated and criticized. Overall Max on Life is a decent read filled with solid advice and spiritual guidance. Review Copy Provided by Thomas Nelson
Monday, April 11, 2011
Once again Andrews shows himself to be a master storyteller. At times The Final Summit makes one think they are reading a light science fiction book and not a self-help offering. Andrews also does a great job uncovering overlooked historical events and figures. In this case one of the five Travelers assigned to struggle over the answer with Ponder is a completely unknown World War II figure whose wartime actions really should be celebrated and studied more in history books then we currently do. The Travelers appearing in the book include old friends from The Traveler’s Gift but also new historical figures. The reader begins to speculate who is “in the room” at the final summit. A personal favorite of mine was Fred Rogers! The Travelers work through several answers to the question and discuss in depth how each would personally and collectively benefit mankind. Some of those responses do seem to parallel the Seven Decisions. Overall this is good book which Andrews’ fans will be very satisfied with. The only complaint I have is at the beginning of the book Andrews introduces us to characters who have been impacted by Ponder’s life. It would have more satisfying conclusion if those characters could have been revisited so we could observe how they were impacted by the summit. Review Copy Provided by Thomas Nelson
Friday, April 1, 2011
Recently I asked “what is the best advice you have ever received about parenting?”
I got some great answers,
- Listen to your kids, but don’t listen to their words. Instead, learn what they need by how they act and respond to you.
- You better have a good reason to say NO. Because if you don’t, then you can say YES.
- Say what you mean, mean what you say.
I love seeing that parents I know are attentive, realistic and let their kids make choices so they can learn from them. Anyone of these pieces of advice could easily be one of the best pieces of parenting advice I’ve ever received. In fact, I may steal them…I mean recycle.
For my family the best parenting advice I ever received was, “Enjoy your kids where they are at.” When I first got this advice during my wife’s pregnancy it really did not make a lot of sense to me. Then my little baby girl began to grow, become more independent, became at times purposely defiant, basically she changed. I don’t sing to her the same songs now that I did when she was two. And, I’m never going to get that back, no matter how I try. At this point I have pictures, videos and at time hazy memories but that little girl is never coming back. She will never need me to carry her around, she will never coo at the simplest things again, she will never again be completely dependent on her mother and me. Luckily, since I was given this piece of advice, I made sure to enjoy my little girl as a newborn, age 2, age 5, today and hopefully tomorrow.
When our second child came, we were really aware of enjoy them where they are at. But will still have to remind ourselves to follow this advice. With a second child and knowing what is to come, often we project him to where he will be and not where he is at. Sometimes I ask, how much easier will life without (cups, diapers, strollers and etc) be? In the end, I have to remember to not run past one time of his life into the next. I need to enjoy him where he is at. Today is not going to get a repeat in the future.
In 1965, the band The Byrds reminded us of the fact that things change in their song “Turn, Turn, Turn” and that there is a season for all things. Or actually, this advice can be found in the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible. “The teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem,” in this wisdom book doesn’t mince words and brings forth some hard realities. The fact that things change is somewhat the teacher makes very clear.
“There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace (NIV, Ecc 3:1-8)”.
Please allow me to rephrase the teacher for today’s parents.
There is a time for diapers and a time for undies.
There is a time for bottles and a time for silverware.
There is a time for dependence and a time for independence.
There is a time for VeggieTales and a time for Star Wars (disclaimer, it is possible to make these occur in the same season.)
There is a time for every stage of your child’s development from birth until they move out.
So, make sure to enjoy them where they are at. Tasks and errands will probably wait, your kids will not.