Thursday, March 31, 2016

Defeating A Resolution

As I mentioned at the top of the year, I have a lot of goals in 2016. One of the most important ones, (to me) was to start reading again. My goal was a total of 5 books in 2016. I'm quite happy to say, I managed to do in under 4 months!

Here's a run down on what I read and what I thought of each book.

House of Silk - Anthony Horowitz
House of Silk is the first official book in the Sherlock Holmes series since the death of the original author - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I was sceptical at first... but did Horowitz ever nail this one. He managed to capture Doyle's writing/ mystery style perfectly. The mystery itself... was unexpected. It took a pretty dark turn pretty fast in the last few pages. However, as a die hard Sherlock fan, I'm still glad I gave it a read.

House - Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker
Peretti and Dekker more or less wrote the books that defined my childhood. I stayed up really late getting absorbed in Thr3e, Blink, The Oath and The Circle Trilogy (which had 4 books in it....). More recently, I haven't been able to enjoy Dekker as much. Still love Peretti.

House was o.k. It didn't seem like a Christian book for the first 300 pages... by the time the allegory kicked in it didn't really work for me. The set up didn't line up with the payoff. After waiting years to read this... it was a bit of a let down.

Murder On The Orient Express - Agatha Christie
As you may have noticed, I like mystery/ thriller novels. This is a classic, so why not? Well, it turns out it's a classic out of a series of classics... so I kinda dropped into the middle of the main character's run as a detective! Once the mystery started, I enjoyed it. Before that I was confused as to who everyone was and  why the book was acting like I should know who they were!

Airframe - Michael Crichton
This book both made me terrified of flying and totally confident all at the same time. It's about a plane crash that shouldn't have happened and the investigation to figure out why it did. I learned a lot about air planes, most of which probably isn't true. However, if I even get into a discussion with a pilot, I may actually understand him now! The book was enjoyable. There was some strong language in it, so bare that in mind before picking this up.

The Visitation - Frank Peretti
After the disappointment of House, I decided to revisit my favourite Peretti novel. Would I still like it as much as I did as a kid?

Yes. Yes I did! It's weird... I've had a lot of life happen to me since I read this the first time. That life experience made me appreciate this book all the more. It's not a book for everyone. especially if you don't like supernatural elements. However, if you're a Peretti fan, grab this one! It's 520 page masterpiece of thrills and faith. My Christian walk is better for reading this one.

There's what lead to a successful resolution! What have you been reading? I need to get some new books!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016


There is a lot of debate about the ratings systems in place today. People seem to think it's suppressing art.
Personally, while I don't think they are perfect, I like having them. I almost always rely on some form of content advisory when going to see a movie (mostly IMDB and Plugged In), but having a big PG-13 on the sign helps the decision making along! You  know what to expect going in.

TV also has a rating system. So does music... however, I've never had to use that one!

What confuses me is why books don't have ratings. Yes, there are a lot of books on the market. Around 300,000 were released and re-released last year alone... however, it's weird there isn't some sort of system in place.

There aren't even content advisories. Plugged In will review hip new books and Common Sense Media has a few... but it's hard to find a consistent source for content in novels.

I've started reading a couple of books only to bail within a couple of chapters because of excessive harsh profanity or lewd content. These aren't even obscure or edgy books. One is considered to be the grandfather of science fiction. The other was 1984 which is taught in high school... which I guess means I'm being too uptight? I donno... I thought it was a little racy.

Book industry - Get your junk together and start putting content advisories on your stuff!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016


I love winter. Nothing compares to taking a stroll through a blizzard or sipping on a tea unable to see across your yard from all the white. The cold... isn't as great in my books... Especially when it's really windy or damp. It cuts though you. That's isn't fun. Snow is fun.

That being said, I'm really excited for spring. I'm looking forward to taking a couple of trips around the Barrie waterfront on my bike, being able to take a walk without losing feeling in my legs and hitting up local eateries on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

What I'm most excited for is my most crazy goal. I want to ride my bike to work and home again... on the same day. I technically did this last year. My car was broken so I rode in one morning, bummed rides all week and then rode back home at the end of the week. It felt good, but I'd like to do a round trip in one day.
The biggest issue doing it is psychological. It's almost all up hill on the way to LIFE. Which is fine for the first 5 minutes... the next 20 are the killer! Working up the courage to do it is hard... Hopefully I'm able to do it this year!

How about you? What is your goal for this spring/ summer?

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Being Social

Recently, I've been thinking a lot about one of the many paradoxes in my life. I didn't really want to blog about it, but I feel like someone else has to be able to relate. So here you go!

I love socializing but hate being social. See? Paradox.

Hanging out with friends is one of my favourite things to do. The bigger the group the better. I love to get a large groups of people together for dinner and a movie. I do it about twice a year. The group gets bigger every time. It's nice being able to set up something fun for people you love.

However, drop me into a large room full of people I don't know... it's a different story. I know people that thrive in that situation. They would walk out of there 30 minutes later with 13 new friends that they will keep in touch with for years. I think my sister got that gene in my family, because I am not that person!

When I started going to my current church was when I first realized this about myself. It was the first time I had gone to a church by myself. Before that, I had always gone with my family. They "anchored" the experience. I always had a fall back if I wasn't feeling comfortable or couldn't work up the courage to talk to someone.

Anyway, all of that to say that I am trying to change. Instead of staring at my phone, I'm trying to engage with people in conversation. Using the church example, I started going to a small group to meet people in a more intimate setting. I also never sit in the same place twice. You meet new people all the time and get a new perspective on the stage.

Why go to all of that work if it doesn't come natural?

Because I know I'm missing out by not doing it. I'm missing out on meeting some really cool, exciting people. I'm losing out on relationships that could help progress me in my faith... or visa versa. 

If you're struggling with meeting new people. Take the first step. Sit in a different place at the school's cafeteria, notice what someone is reading over lunch break at work or make small talk at the coat rack at church. 

At the end of the day, this is the easiest way to live out the great commission Jesus gave us. Talk to people. You never know where it will lead.