Book Review: Let’s Roll

Book Review: Let’s Roll

Let’s Roll: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Courage by Lisa Beamer is a highly moving and inspiring book, with the right balance of harrowing details and faith elements to ground this true story in hope. For those unfamiliar with this story, Lisa is the wife of Todd Beamer, one of the many unsung heroes who perished on United Airlines Flight 93 a few minutes after ten a.m. on September 11, 2001, in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Evidence from phone calls before the plane went down reveals that Todd and other passengers on board determined to take back the plane from the terrorists; unfortunately, their efforts ultimately led to their deaths, yet their sacrifice undoubtedly spared many more lives than those lost on the plane. This is the story of what happened that day, particularly Todd’s role. Let’s Roll is in some ways Lisa and Todd’s life story, in another a gripping, detailed account of how heroic deeds…

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Clean Christian Fiction Makes Sense

Clean Christian Fiction Makes Sense

It used to be that Christian readers could pick up a book (fiction or nonfiction) from most recognized “Christian” publishers and never think twice about coming across questionable or outright offensive content or language. This, unfortunately, is no longer the case, folks. And that’s why I sometimes like to remind readers and publishers of where I stand on the issue. As the years pass, I’m afraid it will only become more necessary to do so. Lest anyone question the accuracy of my claim about slipping standards, let me offer two examples to illustrate my point. In a desire to be kind and fair, I won’t mention the authors, book titles, or publishers. The first example is very recent. A recognized author of Christian nonfiction had a 99-cent Kindle sale of one of his books from one of the leading Christian publishers. I had heard good things about this author’s writings and…

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The Unexpected Lesson of Secretariat

The Unexpected Lesson of Secretariat

It’s no secret: my girls love horses. And along with that love comes another love: for horse movies. One family-friendly movie we came across a while back—and one we’ve probably seen a half-dozen times—is Secretariat. Now, this movie isn’t perfect; there is some brief, mild language. But as for sports movie about beating impossible odds, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more powerful one. Nope, this article is no review of the movie (Focus on the Family has a good review here) but rather a critique of its message. But to understand the takeaway value of this article requires at least an elementary understanding of what the movie is about. Here’s a brief synopsis: [Spoiler alert] Penny Tweedy goes against all odds and even risks her financial stability and family relationships to save the family horse-breeding business by winning the Triple Crown  in 1973 (that’s three of the biggest…

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Making Something from Nothing

Making Something from Nothing

Photo courtesy of George Hodan Someone recently asked me, “When was the last time you made something from nothing?” At first I was baffled. Based on my understanding, God is the only Being who has created something from nothing. Ex nihilo. Then I got to thinking. When was the last time I watched God produce something in my life I knew I was lacking? Memories came to me, and I decided to share them along with my answer to this question. When my father was diagnosed with brain cancer in January 2009, my parents moved near me so he could be close to our hospital for cancer care and so a son could be nearby. What I didn’t realize at the beginning was how I would  be called on to serve as a caregiver in so many ways. I knew nothing about this role and didn’t know how best to help…

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