Archives For insight

What does a transformed life actually look like? In Night of the Living Dead Christian: One Man’s Ferociously Funny Quest to Discover What It Means to Be Truly Transformed, author Matt Mikalatos uses movie monsters to humorously yet thought-provokingly examine this question. The story follows Matt (yes, a character in his own story, which was written in the first person) as he meets werewolves, vampires, zombies, and mad scientists in his own neighborhood. “Interludes” in the story provide insight into the thoughts of Luther Martin, a werewolf that Matt befriends and vows to help. As the story unfolds, we come to realize that each of the “monsters” represent a behavior that is common among those who claim to know Christ. This allegorical story seeks to show us how to become truly transformed from monsters into the real humans God intended us to be.

This book had me laughing out loud. Mikalatos paints a hilarious picture and then does a fantastic job using that to deliver a stirring message. There are some truly touching moments in the book, despite the hilarity, and the underlying message is an important one. The writing style is fun, the characters absurd and yet believable (if that doesn’t make sense, all I can say is that you need to read it to understand).

If you want to become the person God intended, I encourage you to read this book and then examine yourself. Are you a werewolf? A zombie? A vampire? Read this, determine for yourself, and then ask Christ to help you to leave your inner monster behind.

What makes a great life? That’s the question that Donald Miller stumbled into when a couple of movie producers started molding his life’s story into a story fit for the big screen. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life begins by setting the stage, explaining where Miller’s life was when he was approached by the producers, and then proceeds to explain what happened next. He uses his own experience at editing the story of his life to help others see how to improve their lives by creating a better story.

Like the other books that I’ve read by Miller, I found this book astounding. Miller’s self-deprecating style and knack for gleaning insight from everyday experiences make his books both enjoyable and profound. The fact that this audiobook edition is read by the author makes it even better. Every time I started listening, I felt as if I were sitting down with a good friend who was telling me what he had been up to and encouraging me to benefit from his experience. I walked away from each listening with ideas for how to better my life.

Hilarious at times, inciting tears at others, this is one book that you don’t want to miss.

What is the one principle that will save humanity? That is the question that David Ponder and a bevy of historical figures must answer in The Final Summit: A Quest to Find the One Principle That Will Save Humanity, the latest novel by acclaimed speaker and writer Andy Andrews. Mankind’s greed, pride, and hate have brought us to the brink of destruction and now God has given us one last chance at salvation by bringing together the likes of Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, George Washington Carver, Joan of Arc, and other great minds from throughout history to provide the two-word solution to the problem.

This book was a page-turner. I found great enjoyment in the storyline, seeing the characters interact and sometimes wondering how such a meeting of “giants” would really go. I read the book in a very few sittings and found myself laughing often. Despite the enjoyable story, great insight is found in the book as well. The reader will learn, or be reminded of, many principles that have been used by successful people throughout history. The final “solution” is a tried and true act that is part of successful living.

Unfortunately, I wish that the author had stayed closer to biblical truth. Numerous statements throughout the book differ from biblical teaching and the final solution, while beneficial on a humanistic level, falls far from the one “solution,” the only one capable of “saving” humanity from its destruction: Jesus Christ.

If you want to be inspired or just entertained, I encourage you to read this book. Do not, however, expect to find biblically sound teaching within its pages.

Sabbatical

By Nate LaClaire —  May 15, 2010 — 5 Comments

I haven’t made a big deal about this, but I’m taking a seven-week sabbatical from playing the piano for worship services at PBC. The second week of my sabbatical begins tomorrow. Last weekend I took my annual trip to Belfast, Maine, and for the next six weeks I will be visiting other local churches. My sabbatical is for rest, renewal, refreshment, and restoration, as well as to experience other church services, worship formats, and teaching formats, and to, as one of PBC’s elders so aptly put it, spend time with other believers of like precious faith.

I grew up in PBC, yet while I have served in some capacity at PBC for many years, I have, at some level, been dating the church. I am not a church member and do not feel prepared to become one. I have not had the opportunity to visit many other churches because of my church responsibilities, but I have never fully committed to PBC. Therefore, I’m using this sabbatical to try out some other churches, see how other church families (co)operate, and experience other service styles. I expect that at the end of the seven weeks I will have a fresh perspective and new insight into why PBC is my church family and why I want to marry it. I also expect to return to PBC with new ideas. However, my prayer is nothing more than that God will guide me through this experience and use it to show me where I belong and why I belong there, as well as to refresh me. I would appreciate it if you would pray for me as well.

Tomorrow I visit a church in Lewiston. I am sure that my experience will in some positive way impact a future blog post. Until then, good night.