Under the Dome…

I do not like being scared.  Never have.  Never will.  I can count on one hand how many horror films I have seen and not one of those did I actually enjoy.  I have read just a dozen books in the horror genre . . . most if not all before I made a commitment to Christ.  There has just been zero desire to mess with darkness – especially in the name of entertainment.

That being said, I did appreciate Stephen King’s thriller flicks (i.e. Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile) – the emphasis being more on the story and suspense rather than on violence and gore.  You can then imagine my curiosity when my sister-in-law brought a copy of Under the Dome at last year’s vacation to the beach.  She was reading the book because she really was enjoying the television show that was loosely based on the narrative. Upon her recommendation, I decided that I too wanted to check the series out . . . but I needed to read the book first.

Well, I just finished listening to the book this previous month.  And I must say that this was far from a book that I would share with a friend.  King is far too comfortable with suffering and death.  He thinks far too little of humanity.  Always expecting the worst of them.  Never making room for grace and goodness.  Without giving anything away as it concerns the mystery behind the dome, I must say that I hold strongly to the conviction that, if put in a similar situation, that the majority of individuals would respond very differently.  I believe in a God that is good.  In humanity that was created in his image.  And though fallen into sin, I believe that our Creator is still very much in control – that he is still living and active in the lives of those he loves . . . and that a city left to it’s own devices . . . would not be destroyed in this way and in this time period.

That being said, King is a masterful storyteller.  Disturbing – but descriptive.  Only he could come up with a concept like this.

My favorite quote was when one of the characters suggested, “Give a man or woman back his self-respect, and in most cases-not all, but most-you also give back that person’s ability to think with at least some clarity.”

I will watch the show.  Several people have told me it is very different – and not as dark.  I am looking forward to seeing what those particular writers come up with.

Under the Dome…

Running Blind…

I had the time to finish the fourth book in Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series. 

This was a fun read.  Good mystery – though I have to say that I put two and two together (and I am not always the quickest to parties such as this).  Nothing quotable.  But the overall story moved right along.  Learning more and more about Reacher’s backstory (and love story – if you like that sort of thing).  Overall – enjoyable. 

Here is where I rank each installment thus far…

  1. Tripwire (#3)
  2. Killing Floor (#1)
  3. Running Blind (#4)
  4. Die Trying (#2)
I plan to continue this series throughout the summer.  
Running Blind…

Act of War…

I recently completed the latest release in the Brad Thor’s Scott Harveth Series – this one titled Act of War.  

Here are my rankings (to date) of Thor’s books…. 

  1. Takedown (#5)
  2. The Last Patriot (#7)
  3. The First Commandment (#6) 
  4. State of the Union (#3)
  5. The Lions of Lucerne (#1) 
  6. Black List (#11)
  7. Hidden Order (#12)
  8. Act of War (#13)
  9. Foreign Influence (#9)
  10. The Apostle (#8)
  11. Full Black (#10)
  12. Blowback (#4)
  13. Path of the Assassin (#2)
  14. The Athena Project (Athena #1)
This particular story was good…but not great.  Nothing really that new.  No memorable twists or turns (or quotes).  Maybe I am more critical or this book because it was the first one in the series that I actually had to wait for (I started Harveth just under two years ago).  So maybe my anticipation and expectation was just too high. 
But maybe it wasn’t.  Thor continues to lean on the same antagonists (throwing in new countries for hire – but not much more than that is different) and largely same weapons.  Is there more he can do with Harveth?  The larger storyline was not furthered.  
Let’s hope this changes.  But now I wait another year…
What are your thoughts.  Until then, I plan to continue through Lee Child’s Jack Reacher Series.  
Act of War…


I recently finished Mike Erre’s Astonished: Recapturing the Wonder, Awe, and Mystery of Life with God.

Erre has been one of my favorite communicators since his days leading at Rock Harbor (a church that greatly influenced the the practical theology behind Blue Bridge Church.  Because of that, I could not wait to begin reading this book… and I was not disappointed.

My favorite quote was when the author proposed, “Times of spiritual dryness can be gifts from God that draw us deeper into his kingdom so that we quit pursuing Him for His gifts and benefits and pursue Him for His own sake instead” (48).

But why does God seem not to be present at times?  Erre suggests that the following…

  • Sin:  God hides from us so that we can hide from him (by sinning)
  • Mystery:  God may hide information from us because the timing is not right for Him to tell us what we want to know
  • Growth:  God hides so that we may seek Him
Can you think of other reasons and examples from Scripture?  What are your thoughts or experiences?