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Tim Challies

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Friday Ramblings

Amazon likes to send me recommendations for books I may enjoy. They obviously check my account to see what I have purchased recently and run some kind of a script to determine what other books I may like based on what I have bought in the past. A couple of days ago I received a tremendously helpful recommendation.

“We’ve noticed that customers who have expressed interest in The Bible or the Axe: One Man’s Dramatic Escape From Persecution in the Sudan by William Levi have also ordered Happy Princess (Carmen Browne) by Stephanie Perry-Moore. For this reason, you might like to know that Stephanie Perry-Moore’s Happy Princess (Carmen Browne) will be released on January 1, 2007. You can pre-order your copy by following the link below.” I appreciate the tip, but frankly, this doesn’t really sound like the kind of book that would appeal to people who read about persecution in the church.

Energetic pre-teen, Carmen Browne is determined to live her life to please God as she faces life issues such as an unexpected family move, her big brother’s search for his birth family, and the tragedy of domestic violence. Carmen’s learned a lot about herself, too: being popular doesn’t guarantee you true friends, honesty up front saves a lot of hurt, and sometimes self-confidence is just bossiness in disguise. In the fifth and final volume of the popular series, Carmen enters the uncharted waters of adolescence,discovering that her changing moods and growing body bring new challenges to her life.

Nice try, Amazon. Better luck next time.

The Way of the Wild Heart

Back in October I reviewed John Eldredge’s The Way of the Wild Heart and posted the review on Amazon. I just happened to make my way by that page yesterday and noticed that, since I posted the review, it has gotten pretty badly beat up in the “helpful” voting (only 23 of the 80 people who chose to cast a vote have found the review helpful). I was surprised to find that one subsequent review is titled “Don’t Believe Challies” with the first line reading “If you want him running your life, don’t read ‘Way of the Wild Heart.’” So there you have it. If you don’t read the book, I am running your life. I’m probably ruining it too. Don’t believe me! Another reviewer did a point-by-point review of my review under the heading “You can tell a lot by the enemy’s [sic] a book or author makes.” I stand by the words I used to conclude my review: “This book is a complete mess and it was a trial to read. At three hundred pages Eldredge says a lot, and yet it seems like he doesn’t say much of anything. It is puff; it is filler; it is a near-complete waste of time. Avoid it.”

Looking Pastoral

Last week my son had his Christmas holiday concert at school. He wanted to dress up, so hauled out the hair gel and tried to “look like daddy.” He came downstairs with his hair pretty well plastered to his head. “Look, dad! I used gel!,” he said. He then went over to the mirror and, seeing his new look, exclaimed in a disgusted voice, “Oh man, I look like a pastor!”

Amazing Grace

In case you haven’t seen it yet, here is the trailer for Amazing Grace: