Sunday, November 25, 2012

Next Book- GOD without Religion by Andrew Farley

So we have picked a new book, GOD without Religion by Andrew Farley you can find it here on Amazon. Andrew Farley has been compared to Dietrich Bonhoeffer and proposes that his reading of Relationship versus rules is a much more straightforward reading of the text. In addition he takes on some other controversial topics such as predestination. I hope everyone can get the book and join us for the discussion in January.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Information about Nigeria and Immigration

Chris Cleave put this together to inform about what is going on in Nigeria related to the Oil Wars. In addition she has posted information about refugees and asylum seekers and how someone might help. Explore the Issues- Chris Cleave There is some information on the conflict in the Niger Delta here Conflict in the Niger Delta on Wikipedia as well. And here is an article from Vanity Fair about how the fighting in Nigeria could cause repercussions around the world. Vanity Fair-Blood Oil

Monday, September 17, 2012

Great Night of Discussion

We had regulars there and even added a new member, welcome Carol. We went over parallels and differences in the campaign of 1828 and campaigns now. We talked about bias and the book along with bias in the media and peoples perception in general and decided that it is almost impossible to relay information while being devoid of bias. We noted that while there was only one party for the 1828 election the mud slinging was still robust. We noticed that neither were willing to change the constitution but accused the other of desiring too. Federalism was shown to be to powerful to go away even though the party disappeared shortly before this election and that even Jackson who stuck by State's Rights expanded both the reach of government with projects and the role of the president. We talked about the precursors seen in the campaign and election to the civil war and even discussed what might have been different if Adams had won instead. I really enjoyed the discussions on the qualities of the men involved and how their strongly held opinions during the campaign may not be feasible in practice and may even be counter actual beliefs. There were many issues that we see now, like electoral vs. popular vote to determine the president. We spoke about why it was designed the way it was, why it won't likely change for representation purposes and how some states are looking to force their electoral votes to match the overall popular vote rather than sticking with the actual states result. There was much more than that though. If you have any thoughts about the discussion I missed feel free to comment, or even if you couldn't make it tonight please feel free to include your take on the book. The next book will be: Little Bee by Chris Cleave We will meet next November 19 at 7PM. God Bless You and Thanks again for letting me do this with you.

Constition and Citizenship Day

Happy Constitution Day. September 17th, 1787 (225 yrs ago today) the US Constitution was signed in Philadelphia. Here is some information on the Constitution that DOD Public Affairs has put together. There is a course you can take and you can take a quiz at the end. Constitution and Citizenship Day

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Club is Tomorrow Night

We get to talk about the Birth of Modern Politics tomorrow and I am excited to hear what you all think. Some things I wanted to discuss were: What parallels are there to the current campaign for president? What ideas about how politics worked 200 years ago changed with this? Did it surprise you the views that each of the candidates had on issues that may be moot now? State's rights? Slavery? Balance of Powers? Designation of duties of the branches? Power of the federal government? Popular versus electoral choice? Two great men, both with flaws and strengths. How to choose.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Okay, Jesus, Now You're Meddling

The way this started I thought it would be more about politics, but a powerful message nonetheless. I thought I should share it. Okay, Jesus, Now You're Meddling

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Next book

Are there any suggestions for the next book? I will post suggestions from previous meetings later to help selection, but feel free to suggest something we haven't thought about before.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Birth of Modern Politics

I always thought that politics just started getting dirty in my lifetime, that somehow it was much cleaner and nicer and more gentlemanly in earlier times.  This book certainly makes that look like a fairy tale or at best wishful thinking.  It is interesting that even from the bitterness of this campaign there were so many issues that the victor was against that couldn't be stopped like the strength of the federal government versus the states rights.  It is almost hard to imagine the bigger than life president in Andrew Jackson running as a state's rights person.

I got to thinking about the expansion of the electorate that occurred in the 1828 election and some of the warnings that critics had about rich interests determining the interests of those poorer.  Is that what we are seeing today?  It certainly doesn't seem like there was any respect for the office of the president or any more civilized debate, fairness, impartiality, or even honesty in the battle than what we see now.  Watching the principles that Jackson ran on and the vices that he ran against make him look somewhat hypocritical when he abandoned some he stood for and adopted some he vilified in the Adams administration.  Do politics corrupt good morals as bad company necessarily go with politics and power?

If you read the epilogue you will also see how the tactics used in the campaign of 1828 engineered  by Martin Van Buren lost him a chance at a second term when another party adopted them.  Those that live by the sword...

I wanted to mention a couple of things as our next election is coming up.  First from Mike I got this link and thought it was interesting.  The article dwells on politics and the christian and even goes into what freedom of religion means to the practice of religion and politics.

There are so many places to get opinions on candidates and there even was a movie released recently 2016 that is about the views and beliefs of President Obama (trailer).  I have noticed that there seem to be no venues that present the candidates or the issues impartially.  Maybe there is no way to do that.  Maybe partiality is part of having a mind and an opinion and the ability to express them.

I must admit that my views and my vote are pretty well set and not likely to change at this late a date before the election, but if people are still undecided what are they looking for to change their mind?  Is it possible to change someone's mind about something they feel strongly about and if you don't feel strongly about anything then what would impress you?  Are we then just looking for a personality?  A hero?  A scholar?  Someone striking?  Someone witty?  Someone intelligent?  Are we really just shallow in our convictions so as to reduce them to whims?

What do you think?

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Monday, July 30, 2012

Book Club Tonight

Tonight we can go over Discipleship, Bonhoeffer's readability, and what influences you see in his writing that could have been affected by what we know from his biography.  Can't wait to see you there.

God Bless.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Ready to talk it over

Book Club meets on Monday.   Are you ready to talk about Discipleship.  This has been a challenging book to read.  This is not from its style but from its direct dealing with what Jesus said.  I think we will have a great discussion on Monday.  See you there.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Blue Like Jazz- The Movie

Covenant has tickets for Blue Like Jazz- The Movie.  You can  get more details here on the Covenant ePromoter .  If you liked the book, lets get together and go see the movie together.  Our own Bill and Nikki Clark helped produce the film and you can see them in the credits.  I hope to see you there.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Life Together

This was a difficult book to get into and then it clicked.  The three that all communities must practice and each individual must practice was the hook for me.
Active Helpfulness
Bearing With Others
Amazing how it all comes down to dealing with others as God has dealt with me.  So simple and yet not easy at all.  Only the Grace of God allows us to do any of it.
Some of the simple rules were very convicting.  I wonder what a community such as Finkenwalde would look like today.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Other Books

I might every once in a while put some links about books that I am reading on the side as well.  I am putting some of the Francis Chan stuff on the side in just a few.  Crazy Love is quite a bit easier to read than Bonhoeffer, but has an interesting combination of reading and video from the site he has.  It is almost like a devotional.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Fully Human

Thanks to you all for coming last night and lending your ear and voice to the discussion of Bonhoeffer.  Apparently we were all impressed enough to decide to read 2 of Bonhoeffer's books over the next two sessions.  Life Together we will read and write about on the blog, right here and Cost of Discipleship we will save until July and discuss it at the club meeting.  At our next meeting we will discuss The Princess Bride.

So if you're keeping score that means for May the books are:
Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer  (discussion on the Blog)
Princess Bride by William Goldman (discussion that night)

For July:
The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer (discussion at meeting)

I will be posting a primer on comments to the blog later on today- at least I hope.

God Bless you all.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Ready for Tonight

I don't know where we might start tonight, but it should be interesting.  I look forward to seeing many of you there tonight.

God Bless.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


Finished the book just a little while ago.  What a great book.  Great history surrounding Bonhoeffer with a great deal of research done through interviews and letters from friends.  What an interesting man.  Strong conservative theologian that admired, studied under and eulogized the leading liberal theologian in Germany.  Strong opinions and yet very accepting of those with opinions that differed from his.  Very reasoned and yet the "most lovable man" that most had met.  You don't seem to find people like him now.  What a lot of thought provoking parts within the book.  Much to challenge your theology, religiosity, outlook, and philosophy.  How do you make it all one so that to serve one Master is to live fully in the world and serve fully the LORD?

I hope to see you all tomorrow night at the club.  This should be a great discussion.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


I must admit I am not far along in the book.  According to Kindle 10%.  What a great historical reference.  Makes many things about WWII much clearer and that is only in the first 10%.  This should be a great one to discuss just from the things that we will learn.   The study of Bonhoeffer's character and characteristics will be compelling as well.  I wonder what I will learn about the plot to assassinate Hitler as well.  Has anyone else gotten further in the book?  What do you think?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Population 485

I just finished reading this book.  I would highly recommend reading if for no other reason than to read some honest discussion of life topics.  Purpose, family, life, heros, outcasts, and even death.  It is at times funny and at times sad, and even throw in silly and deep.  I need to tell you that the calls he goes on are actual retellings and the people are real. For this reason there are times when the language may get less than wholesome.  It is in character and adds to the understanding of the people involved without being overbearing.  There are several places where I highlighted phrases or sentences that he uses as they were very wise or poignant.  One example is this: "... any behavior that excuses us from acknowledging the complexity of human experience resides one slim remove from smug disdain"  Another is this: "Memory is a means of possession, but eventually, the greatest grace is found in letting go."  Some were funny as well "I was chugging along here last fall when I was forced to the shoulder by a pack of Amish youths cruising down the hill on RollerBlades.  There is really no way to prepare for that sort of thing"  The book really brought home that life is "not easily counted off  and neatly arranged".  It also shows that some of our most humiliating and stressful times may turn out to be our most heroic moments and counter to that some events allow "pigpen boy" (you'll need to read it to understand that) to come out.  I found myself using the dictionary on amazon a great deal while reading.  For a simple country boy, he sure uses some esoteric (I love the word esoteric, it seems to define itself)  words.This is a great book to hear honest opinions and deal with the fragility, the beauty and the ugliness of life as a human.  It puts emphasis on meaning and purpose stresses respect for and patience with others.  I hope you all get a chance to read it.  I hope you can overlook the language as character setting and really think about what everyone goes through as they live life.

Monday, January 23, 2012

New Books- First of 2012

We had a great meeting to discuss Pride and Prejudice.  That certainly opened a new venue for my reading.  I am actually considering reading more Austen books and might even watch a movie or two.

For next month we picked two more books.

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas
A new biography about one of the first to speak out against Hitler.
This will be the book we discuss at the next meeting.
Population 485: Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time by Michael Perry
Biography of a Volunteer Fireman in snippets surrounding fire calls.
This will be the book we discuss on the website.

We also agreed to read the Princess Bride for the meeting after next but we haven't decided what the second book would be just yet.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Book Club Tomorrow Night

Are you ready to discuss Pride and Prejudice?  We start up at 7PM tomorrow.  Check out some of the links Ihave on the right had side  as well.

See you there.