Nanowrimo

Today is November.

Not only is it the month of Thanksgiving, which is (in my opinion) one of the most overlooked holidays of the year, but it is the month hundreds, maybe thousands, of people decide they just want to buckle down and write a book.

Known as Nanorimo, which is short for National Novel Writing Month, lots of people take this time to write regularly for one month so they can complete their dream of writing a book.

This is something that I have always wanted to do, in fact it is #61 on my bucket list. So I decided, what better time than now?! This November I’m going to write a book I’ve had rattling around in my head for a few years now.

Usually, Nanowrimo is for fiction novels, but this book I want to write is non-fiction. Even though I’m not sure if I get that special badge that many get for completing the number of words for their novel, but I’m more concerned about writing this book than getting that badge.

And who knows, if I finally write this, I might try to get it published… or at least self-published. Then I can knock out #61 AND #5 on my bucket list.

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tumblr_ly89rbrksb1rnuqkzo1_500I’m sure you’ve heard the quote that goes something like: “Leaders are readers”

There is another one that I feel is just as, if not more, important:

“There is no difference between those who can’t read and those who can but don’t.”

Seems simple, but the ability to read doesn’t increase intelligence. It merely creates the potential to gain intelligence, to be changed by more ideas and art and timeless stories.

Are there books that you have wanted to, or maybe have even bought, but haven’t read yet? What is stopping you from reading them?

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

I recently had the pleasure of reading this book. A very touching but sad story of a teenager named Charlie. About a third of the way through this book, Charlie is called a “wallflower” by one of his friends. A “Wallflower” is someone who is usually shy (but not always) and generally hangs out in the background, they usually are people who are great observers and probably notice things that others don’t. In this story, Charlie is not necessarily a shy person, but he definitely has issues when it comes to (as the book puts it) “participating” in life. He rarely engages and usually only engages when he has to or he feels safe to.

One of the things that gets me about this book is how much Charlie reminds me of myself when I was his age. I would imagine that it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that in many ways most teenagers have tendencies to be a wallflower from time to time.

Another reason this book is so impactful is it gets you thinking. The book is a collection of letter that Charlie writes someone, he writes them to sort out his thoughts so this can easily be seen as a journal that he writes. And the thing about journals is we see how and what we think when things happen to us in out lives. For me, this originally struck me a sad book because so much doesn’t go his way, but it gets me thinking- there are a lot of stuff that doesn’t go our way in our life, but do we see our life as sad? Sometimes, but most of the time we try and handle it in the best way we think we know how and (like how Charlie is in most of the book) we are generally content with life.

I came away with two things.
1.) “So, I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we’ll never know most of them.” We are who we are and we need to find people who will accept us for it. It’s cliche and something we shove down the throats of teenagers, but we need to be ourselves and if we’re not, we aren’t going to be happy.
2.) Engage in life. Too many people wait for life to happen for them. They wait for something amazing to come to them instead of going after the amazing. Instead of chasing their dreams, they remain their dreams. We let so many things in our life pass us by and while some of us don’t have personality of a wallflower, by our actions we become wallflowers.

UPDATE: Just for the record, I highly recommend this. Read it, you’ll love it.

Problems with getting obsessed

…is you miss out on things that you normally love. I was so caught up with watching all 173 episodes of Deep Space Nine, that I really didn’t have time to do anything else. I really love reading, and I haven’t been able to read what I want too much for some time now. As a Master’s student at DBU, I had to read a lot, but not really what I wanted. Now that I have graduated, I have been able to, but I have been getting caught up in other things that I haven’t gotten around to reading.

That all changed yesterday. I picked up Rendezvous with Rama a few days ago, and read the entire book in a day. I forgot how much I love to read. I definitely am planning to pass on Netflix and instead pick up a book and get caught up on all the books I’ve been wanting to read.

Here is what is on deck for me:
Ringworld
Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream
@stickyjesus
The Monkey and the Fish
Soul Purpose

…and maybe a few books from my List of 50

Have any other suggestions?

5 Books I’m reading this summer

Leading from the Second Chair: I will probably never be a lead pastor at a church, but I want to know how I can still lead even though I’m not the “lead guy.”
Nine Marks of a Healthy Church: Always been interested in this book and wanted to give it a read. I need to stop putting it off.
The 4:8 Principle: Looking for this book to get me out of my comfort zone and this funk I’ve been in lately.
Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything: Wikipedia has changed how we work together, accumulate knowledge and generally how we do things. This new age of mass collaboration has sure changed how I do things.
Brothers we are not Professionals: This may be a convicting book for me. One thing I struggle with from time to time is being a “professional Christian” and some times neglect my walk as a result.

Honorable Mention
Radical: Taking back your faith from the American Dream: I’m hoping to be going through this book with a couple of guys this summer. Looking forward to this.

Are there any interesting book you reading?

Rearing it’s ugly head

I read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein recently, it’s an interesting read and was definitely worth the time I took to read it. We all know that story…. or at least we think we do. Reading the book was a little eye opening because it made me realize how much pop culture has made Frankenstein sometime it really isn’t.

It’s a tragic story, but while reading this there was this thought in my head. The monster did cause Frankenstein a world of grief, but the more and more layers of Frankenstein’s mind was peeled back I can’t help but think that it was the monster in his own head that was more damaging. The fear of the monster was more horrifying than the actual monster. The fear of the monster consumed his life and in the end the fear of the monster controlled him and his actions. It was all he could think about, that one mistake (of his own creation) ruled him.

Frankenstein is generally considered a horror story, but in my opinion, what is scary about this story is not the monster or it’s actions. What scares me is Frankenstein himself and how we all have a monster inside of us. A monster that lurks in the darkness of our heart and waits to rear it’s ugly head. It is fueled by our fears and only becomes stronger the more we try to hide from it.

How do you combat this kind of monster? How do you not let this monster grow inside of us until it is unstoppable? We stop living in fear. “Fear not” in the Bible over 40 times. Think God is trying to tell us something? His perfect love drives out fear.

“I love you, LORD, my strength.The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” – Psalm 18:1-2