Fatal Light is a book that brings to light the confuted experiences of war. A young eighteen year old draftee finds himself in Vietnam surrounded by beauty and death at the same time. He leaves behind a football scholarship to serve his country in an unpopular war. His father speaks of war as if it's a fun and manly thing to take a part in. I think the author does a great job of expressing this through short vignettes that are easy to digest one at a time. I took several weeks to finish this book and each time I picked it back up it was like I didn't miss a beat. This book might as realistically represent the feelings and experiences of an individual soldier in Vietnam as any book I've ever read. It's not the best Vietnam war novel I've read. History, especially Vietnam war history buffs will not find elaborate details but they will come to understand the narrator.
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Holy Roller was a bit different that I had anticipated. Author Julie Lyons takes readers from the birth of a small Black Pentecostal Church in a crime ridden neighborhood through twenty years of fascinating spiritual growth.
By far the most interesting parts of the book were the beginning and the end. Near the beginning, she profiles the healing power and prayer as it works miracles in the lives of the residents of South Dallas; her spiritual leader, Pastor Eddington included. The last several chapters of the book take the reader on a missionary journey to Botswana, where AIDS is an epidemic. Demons are fought, lives are changed, but still the battle is not over.
In the latter beginning to middle of the book I felt the subject matter derailed into TMI. We learn that Julie suffered same sex attraction and she even talks about her desire to masturbate as well. She writes about a trip she took to Belfast which didn't really connect with the rest of the book.
This book will probably offend a lot of people. Obviously, gay people will take offense that the author feels that homosexuality can be healed by the Holy Spirit. Evangelicals might take offense at the authors portrayal of their churches as, "I had always gagged on the phoniness, hypocrisy, and indifference to the spiritual issues with which people struggle. How could evangelical churches judge liberal Christians for not taking God and the Bible seriously and then belittle Pentecostal Christians for taking God too seriously?" A lot of generalizations are made throughout the book about "white" people and "black" people and the various types of churches they attend. Those type of generalizations made by the author are hard to dismiss. Later the author states, "Their (white persons) tendency to objectify color takes some interesting twists. Too often, for example, white Christians view black Christians, particularly Pentecostals, as being innately spiritual, as if spirituality comes naturally to black people because of their ethnic or racial heritage. Whites seem to think that blacks have an elemental connection with primitive religious practices best suited to their supposed childlike beliefs." I think the author is bound up in some childhood beliefs she must have inherited from her family, because I don't think that way and was pretty offended by those statements. I would hate for a black person to read that and actually believe it.
Although I do have some criticisms of the book, overall, this was a really fascinating look at the inner workings of a small black Pentecostal church and their work, their members, their struggles, and their triumphs. Overall, I enjoyed the book and getting to know the life stories of the individual characters.
For Christians not familiar with Pentecostal churches, this book will prove very enlightening and brutally honest. Julie Lyons is an excellent writer and a gifted storyteller. She writers her truth from the heart, and doesn't hold back.
Posted by A Writer's Pen at 5/30/2009 04:12:00 AM
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
This pocket sized devotional is very well written and backed up with scriptural references. Each month starts off with a bible verse followed by a month's worth of devotional reading. At the end of each short but effective devotional, there are 3-4 scriptural references to backup the devotional.
I found the scripture references to be very much in alignment with the devotional, sometimes almost word for word. Each devotional was also very though provoking.
The book is very small at approximately 4" x 6", and one inch thick. It's hardcover and very well-made, making it appropriate for gift giving or carrying in your purse. A ribbon book mark is included as well. The only complaint I have is that I wish this came with a small sleeve or protectant bag, which would keep it in nice condition, especially for those reading it daily.
Posted by A Writer's Pen at 5/27/2009 04:57:00 PM
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Friday, May 22, 2009
Posted by A Writer's Pen at 5/22/2009 01:08:00 AM
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Posted by A Writer's Pen at 5/07/2009 11:32:00 PM