Thursday, January 24, 2008


My 2 of spades for this year is 'Chosen' by Ted Dekker. Oh what a tangled web Ted is weaving. If you haven't read any of Ted's previous books, then this probably isn't the best book to start with. The story intersects with several other of his books including 'The Circle' trilogy, 'Showdown', and 'Skin'.

Chosen takes place on another world, during the equivalent of our 'Old Testament' period, that is fairly important to be aware of as you read this book. The book is the first in a planned series of seven, two of which are already out. I not sure what I think about this series right now. In 'Chosen' the main character, Johnis, is chosen by God to go on a mission to recover seven lost 'Books of History'. At one point I was quite upset and about ready to put the book down, because he does take up the mission, does what he was asked to do and is promptly tortured and nearly killed. I finished the book and was OK with how it ended, but now I'm onto the next book in the series and, by chapter 4, I'm already wanting to quit reading the series again. This time the main Character is planning something counter to his mission, and I just can't get on his side. If I can't identify with the main character, it won't be an enjoyable read. I am intrigued by Ted's theme regarding 'The Books of History' and that is the only reason I may continue reading; but as of now, I'm leaning towards aborting my plans to read this series. Sorry Ted....

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Blink of an Eye

I'm going to borrow an idea from a friend and use a deck of cards as bookmarks to keep track of the books I read throughout the year. The goal is to read one book a week or 52 in a year. I won't have any angst about not making it, but it will be interesting to see how many I've read by the year's end.

My first several books are already lined up. I had asked for a book by Ted Dekker for Christmas and ended up with 3. So my first 3 books will be fiction books, the first of which I have already completed. So the Ace of Spades for me was 'Blink of an Eye'.

Ted Dekker holds a special place in my life because it was through his writings (the Circle Trilogy) initially that I started to see that I was a bit like the Pharisees -- following a set of religious rules and calling that a 'relationship'. Ted also tends to have his main characters overcome antagonists by unconventional means. The main characters may initially combat evil with the same weapons or skill, and may even be skilled at doing so. However in the end they usually learn that the only way to defeat their opponent is by Love or Truth.

'Blink of an Eye' does not disappointed in the regard. I was going to quote part of the book to give you a taste, but alas I loaned the book out just a few hours ago. At any rate, blink is a story about a man, Seth, who finds out that he can see possible futures. These futures depend in part on his choices and in part on the choices of others. He ends up using this gift to help a Saudi Princess flee an arranged marriage. Seth initially believes that his gift proves that there is no God, since there is not a single set future that he sees. There is something that happens that ends up changing his mind about that, but I will not spoil that for you should you decide to read it. I definitely found it stimulating to think about what 'determines' the future, and what does God know about it. It is also worth mentioning that the subtitle to the book is "Love Changes Everything". That thought is covered well in the book. At one point the Princess tells Seth that he has relied upon his intellect, but in the end he needs to rely on Love. I'm not sure that blink will really rank as high as the Ace of Spades for the year -- only time will tell, but it certainly wasn't a bad book. If you like action, suspense, and thinking about the impact our choices have in history then this is a good book for you.

Oh as a side note, I have to share my bus story. I ride a commuter bus to and from work every day. It's a 45 minute ride, and it is where I get most of my reading done. Anyway, on my way home Friday I was reading a particularly suspenseful part of this book on the bus, and I kept hearing someone saying "Sir!". The book was so good however, that I was able to effectively tune them out. The next thing I knew someone was waving their hand in front of my face. "The nerve of some people!", I thought, "Can't they tell I'm reading!" I looked up and the bus was completely empty -- the hand and voice belonged to the bus driver that was trying to get my attention. She asked, "Are you really wanting to go back downtown?" I was surprised that I hadn't noticed everyone getting off the bus. Embarrassed, I thanked the bus driver for checking on me and quickly got off the bus; she could have just closed the bus door and headed back down town. That was the first (and hopefully last) time that has ever happened to me. Oy Vey!

Thursday, January 10, 2008


I know this is random, but hey I did call this 'Rick's Ramblings'. Anyway, we managed to procure a Wii that we gave to the kids (ages 16,10,6, and 2) for Christmas. They have all enjoyed playing it immensely and my 2 year old really enjoys watching the older kids play.

Here's the catch. The kids went back to school, my oldest son and my wife went to Thailand, I'm home watching the 2 year old, and the DVD player broke this week. So whenever my 2 year old points at the Wii, guess who 'has' :-) to play the Wii? That would be me. I have been surprised to find out that you can actually break a sweat playing that thing, especially playing the level 1600 tennis opponents. Both arms are now sore (I've had to alternate arms) and I think I've lost a few pounds! Well, the wife gets back on Sunday (hurray!) and it will be back to the old desk job for me. Right now the kids keep me busy and worn out, maybe I'll be able to do some more posting after I recover.