Monday, May 30

Jesus, my Father, the CIA, and Me - a review

Subtitled: "A Memoir of Sorts…"  by Ian Morgan Cron

The first thing that caught my eye on this cover was the word, “CIA.”  Then I saw the image of a young child waving at the photographer (the photo is an actual photo from Ian’s childhood).  The title and synopsis promises a story of child growing up with an alcoholic father who works for the CIA.

To my disappointed, Ian only really delivers on half of that story, the part of growing up with an alcoholic father.  Ian has few positive memories of his father, and throughout the book he struggles with how to relate to his father and how to get his father to notice him, as well as struggling to keep this problem hidden from his friends at school.  This does have many interesting parts to it.  Ian himself tries many things to gain his father’s attention, including trying harder to achieve good grades.  But he also turns to alcohol and illegal drugs, something he hoped would help deal with his father, who on occasion was known to grow violent.

Saturday, May 28

Star Wars: Conviction by Aaron Allston

**I will avoid spoilers for Conviction however there may be spoilers for earlier series, especially the Legacy of the Force series**

The end is coming into sight in this 9 book series and here in Conviction, book seven in the Fate of Jedi series, events seem to be occurring with both a great amount of energy, and yet just enough mystery to justify two more books.  Conviction comes hot off the heels of Vortex, which I thought was the strongest book of the series so far.

Luke Skywalker, exiled in Outcast started the series searching for clues regarding his nephew Jacen’s  descent to the Dark Side but turned to investing a creature called Abeloth, a being who is strong in the dark side of the force.  Luke is accompanied by his son, Ben, a Sith apprentice.  Oh, and he’s trying to simultaneously evade being killed by a planet full of Sith.  Meanwhile, the Jedi on Coruscant are dealing with Daala, who is trying to limit the power of the Jedi, if not disband them completely.

Tuesday, May 24

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp), in search of the power of the fountain of youth, is gathering a crew.  Wait, never mind, that’s someone pretending to be Jack.  Jack is actually imprisoned (again) for piracy and is facing a British judge awaiting his sentence.  Whoops.  Wrong again, not Jack but Gibbs who everyone thinks is Jack.  Out comes the judge, ready to sentence Gibbs, only its – Jack?  Saving his friend from the gallows, Jack “frees” Gibbs (read: poor planning and ends them back up in British hands).

Mayhem ensues.

It isn’t long before Jack learns that the imposter is Angelica (Penelope Cruz), an old flame (and Blackbeard’s daughter).  She captures Jack and brings him aboard Blackbeard’s ship with hopes that Jack will help lead them to the fountain of youth.  The British also seek the fountain and turn to “privateer” Captain Barbossa to lead them.  The writer’s also decided, just for fun, to have several ships full of Spaniards also hunt for the fountain.

Saturday, May 21

Dug Down Deep by Joshua Harris

Theology.  Doctrine.  Orthodoxy.  To many people these words can be confusing or scary, sometimes both.  Everyone has an idea of what they mean, but often those ideas are jumbled together from what they’ve heard.  Even to Christians these can be difficult to identify with, especially since negative connotations have become attached to them in recent times.  If you were to mention any of these terms to a random person, chances would easily be that they either wouldn’t know what the term meant or they would have a negative reaction towards it.  But is this the way it should be?  Joshua Harries (Why I Kissed Dating Goodbye) doesn’t think so, and this prompted him to write Dug Down Deep, his attempt at writing a book on systematic theology for those who don’t want to attend the nearest seminary.

To begin, Harris examines some of the key terminology associated with theology.  Theology, he explains, is the study of the nature of God – of learning about God.  Essentially, if you’ve ever thought about God, in any context, you’ve already performed some sort of theology.  It may not have been incredibly deep theology, but it is theology none the less.    Harris goes on to point out that the person who declares their belief that God does not exist is performing theology just as the minister in the pulpit is performing theology.

Sunday, May 15

MacArthur - a review

MacArthur by Mitchell Yockelson

Of all of the great generals in the past century, MacArthur seems to be one of the biggest. Before cracking open this book, I knew that he is one of the most famous American generals in recent history but I wouldn’t be able to tell you anything about his accomplishments, nor be able to list all of the wars he fought and led in (WWI, WWII, and the Korean War). After enjoying the biography I read on Patton last year in the same series, I decided to give MacArthur’s bio a try.

Much like Patton, MacArthur focuses largely on MacArthur’s military efforts and not much time is dedicated towards his private life except where necessary. MacArthur was a brilliant strategist and a great orator. He also knew how to keep his troops’ morale up. He tried to avoid leading from the rear, preferring to be as close to the front lines as possible.

Sunday, May 8

UnPlanned Trailer

To accompany my review of the documentary UnPlanned, here is the trailer for it.

Also, on May 17th, Unite for Life is hosting a Webcast featuring Abby Johnson. Check them out to find out how you can watch and how you can participate.

Thursday, May 5

UnPlanned - a review of the documentary

UnPlanned: The Sensational True Story that Made Headlines Across the Nation

When Abby Johnston quit her job at Planned Parenthood she did what no one would’ve ever expected her to: she joined Coalition for Life, an organization which strongly opposed Planned Parenthood’s position and actions regarding abortion.  Though she did not intend it, her move swept across media outlets nationwide, landing her on headlines and primetime news.

Unplanned is a documentary about Abby, her time at Planned Parenthood, and what led to her quitting her job, and seems to be meant as a companion piece to a book, also titled UnPlanned, which has also been released on her story.  It tells the story chronologically, starting with life before Planned Parenthood, how she got involved with Planned Parenthood, her becoming the director of her location.