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Showing posts from July, 2010

Staycations & Vacations

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Summer is such a great time for catching up on the stack of books beside your bed. I read an article on CNN the other day referring to "staycations". For those of us staying close to home this summer, there is nothing like a lounge chair on the back porch, a long drink of ice cold root beer and all those novels you have been meaning to read on the TV tray beside you. I'm going to be taking my book bag with me on a road trip down the Oregon coast in the next few weeks. My husband describes my ideal camping experience as: campfire, books, chai tea, books, s'mores, books, red licorice, books, long tramps along the shore, books, steamed clams and mussels, books....well, I'm sure you can see where my interests lie! I tell friends that summer holidays for me are like cleaning out the lint filter in the dryer. Can't wait! Rick's latest fiction favourite is coming with me. Title: Danger Close Author: William G. Boykin I read William "Jerry&qu

The Stuff of Nightmares

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One of the many reasons that I love working at the House of James is that I have the privilege of working with colleagues of varying ages. The 18-30 year olds keep me on my toes (which is very good exercise) and the more mature staff teach me life skills! The following post is by Jordan, one of the "toes types". Ted Dekker has gone and done it again. Boneman's Daughters is another great piece of thrilling literature that catches the reader from the start and doesn't let go until the end. A warning about this book, and his next one titled The Bride Collector , must be stated before I continue to tell you about the story. This is not a book for the squeamish, faint-hearted or easily disturbed. Dekker has always paid high attention to details and this book stays true to form, so much so that at some points you may feel as though you can actually see and hear what is happening. Remember however, this is just a work of fiction and none of it is based on actual eve

A Fellow Pilgrim

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I love Philip Yancey, a self-proclaimed “fellow pilgrim”. Oh all right, all you literalists, I love his books. I think he is one of today's finest authors. He is smart, philosophically wise, well-read, an ardent follower of Jesus, an avid student of the Bible, and, he is able to articulate the unspoken questions of my heart. He says that he writes to resolve things that are bothering him. Evidently an awful lot of us are bothered by the same things he is! Four of his books have sold over 1,000,000 copies each. I read Disappointment with God during a black time of personal upheaval many years ago, and Rumors of Another World (now titled A Skeptic's Guide to Faith ) during a more recent crisis. My husband especially appreciates What's So Amazing about Grace? Grace Notes , published in 2009, is a compilation of Yancey's best writings, culled from his books as well as from his writings for the magazine Christianity Today . I bought a copy for myself as well as f

Fruitcake and Ice Cream

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Always leery of bandwagons, I hate jumping on just because everybody else is. But when a large church in the Fraser Valley ordered 10 of the bestselling Heart of Passion DVD series by Louie Giglio, curiosity soon overcame my initial reluctance. Besides, the titles of the individual episodes intrigued me. “Fruitcake and Ice Cream”? “Indescribable”? One of my hats here at the store is the oversight of the “general entertainment, family-type” dvds. I detest mediocrity and shoddy workmanship and am always on the lookout for dvds of quality that I can recommend whole- heartedly and without reservation. The Heart of Passion not only meets but exceeds my high standards. It is a marvelous portrayal and testimony of our magnificent God. My husband, a most manly man, weeps each time he watches any one of the 5 episodes included on the 4 disks. We have viewed them again and again by ourselves, with friends, and with our care goups. Louie Giglio, the narrator, is an enormously gifted a

Life, In Spite of Me

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Adelle reviewed this book by Kristen Anderson at a recent staff meeting and all of us were immediately drawn in to the story. Read her thoughts for yourself to find out why. "I rarely read biographies. This book drew me in. The sheer joy on Kristen's face on the cover caused me to pause every time I walked by the shelf (which was often on the way to the back room) . Finally picking the book up... I then could not put it down. Written with fiction author Tricia Goyer (one of my favs) this is a powerful easy reading account. Having a fairly normal uneventful childhood, Kristen's life changes in her teens as 3 friends and her grandmother pass away within a 2 year span. To top it off, she was raped by someone she considered a friend. From there she spirals into depression and partying. After being grounded 'until further notice' one New Year's Eve, she ends up at the nearby train yard contemplating her self worth. Without even really realizing it, sh

Tools for Talking

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One of the best things about working at the House of James is that we do not sell egg-beaters. I love working in a retail environment that provides and promotes products that have life-changing potential. “Change your mind, change your life” is one of my mantras. Since becoming a retailer 14 years ago, I have attended many self-improvement seminars. Resources and tools have been made available for me to become a savvier manager, a more understanding colleague, an increasingly productive employee, a friendlier salesperson. Easily muddled by visual and sensory overload, I learned long ago that I will not be able to grasp and assimilate 100% of the data deluging me. Best to come away with just one nugget gleaned, one paramount truth, one new practice. This coping mechanism stood me in good stead as I worked my way through the book Crucial Conversations late last year. The four authors themselves suggest that you read, practice, read, practice. The sub-title is “Tools for

Son of Hamas

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Denise is the book purchaser for the House of James and when she recommends a book, it is well worth paying attention. She told me that the following was this year's favorite read.. Son of Hamas by Mosab Hassan Yousef "It seems as though each day we receive news from the Middle East....car bombs, death, fighting over a tiny strip of land, poverty, war...the list is long. Often I have found myself wondering why these people cannot come to some kind of agreement and stop fighting, their children are growing up in war zones for crying out loud. We argue about the politics and we send peacekeeping troops but few of us have been able to penetrate this world we do not understand. It is a well known fact that I love biographies. They offer insight to places I may never get to go otherwise. Sometimes they are filled with encouragement, sometimes they offer us a different perspective. Son of Hamas has helped me gain insight and understanding to a world I