“The Shack” by William P. Young

My pleasure from reading doesn’t come from the act of reading, itself. It comes from the excitement of the story. That’s what draws me in, pins me down, and won’t let me up until I’m done. A little masochistic, wouldn’t you say?

Speaking of masochism, I do a fair amount of reading for the purpose of research or learning. That type of reading is not “fun” for me, but necessary, none the less. My satisfaction from this type of reading results from the expansion of knowledge.

51w8kqcjhl_sl160_I’ve got some mixed feelings about “The Shack”. The first 20% of the book tells an interesting story of a broken man who is experiencing a deep sadness following the kidnapping and violent death of his beloved little daughter.

The remainder of the book is a dialogue between this man and the authors unusual portrayal of God. In this dialogue, “God” guides the character to work through his feelings and to overcome his deep sadness as he wades through his understanding of God.

The story is set in nearby Oregon. Though the main character lives in Portland, most of the story occurs in the northeastern part of the state in the Wallowa Lake area. There is even some reference to the Multnomah Falls throughout the book.

Controversy of “The Shack”

I’m certainly no theologian, but I can usually recognize when a person’s religious views have come from a source other than the Word of God. In the case of “The Shack”, there are to many strange twists to be completely scriptural. Much of the ideas that the author represents seem to come from his inner thoughts and deductive reasoning, rather than from the truth of the Word.

Pastor Michael Sandberg gives a thorough analysis at Summit Christian Fellowship. There, he identifies many of my personal sentiments in a very detailed manner.

Berit Kjos of Kjos Ministries is much more critical in his attack of the book.

Tim Challies put together a review of “The Shack” that is about as clear an organized as any that I’ve seen.


If I took anything positive from the reading of the book, I would have to say that it may have helped me to think of Jesus Christ on a more personal level.

I would only recommend this book be read by mature Christian readers who have already established their understanding of God through the reading of the bible.

A Dose of Humor

This came through my email awhile back. I thought it funny enough to drop it into my blog. I wish I could give credit, but I don’t know where it originated.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Humorous definitions.

A place where women curl up and dye.

Someone who is fed up with people.

The only animals you eat before they are born and after they are dead.

A body that keeps minutes and wastes hours.

Mud with the juice squeezed out.

Someone who is usually me-deep in conversation.

Never tell a lie if the truth will do more damage.

Cold Storage.

Cutting money in half without damaging the paper.

An insect that makes you like flies better.

Grape with a sunburn.

Something you tell to one person at a time.

A bunch of bones with the person scraped off.

The pain that drives you to extraction.

One of the greatest labor saving devices of today.

An honest opinion openly expressed.

Something other people have. I have character lines.

Legend of the Multnomah Princess

Multnomah Falls

I was coming home from a bible quizzing competition in Portland, several days ago, with one of the students from our team. When we were approaching Multnomah falls, I asked him if he had ever stopped at the visitor center to see the falls up close. He hadn’t, but wanted to, so we stopped.

Bridge over lower Multnomah Falls

For some unknown reason, I suggested that we make the 1 mile hike up the steep path to the top, so we could look down into the gorge from high above. I didn’t remember that hike being so intensely strenuous.

Multnomah Falls parking lot from top of fallsWe eventually made it to the top. All delays in getting there were on me. I had to stop for rest several times. After reaching the top, we looked over the edge from the view point, took a few pictures, and headed back down the path. Boy, was I happy that the return trip was all downhill. That made for much easier travel.

Before we left the visitor center, I stopped in the gift shop to browse. I decided to purchase a coffee mug to add to my collection. This particular mug had the legend of the Multnomah Princess inscribed into it.

Summary version of the Multnomah Princess Legend

There was a terrible sickness that threatened lives of the Multnomah people. An old medicine man revealed that the sickness had been foretold but that it would pass if a maiden descendant of a tribal chief would throw herself from a high cliff above the big river and onto the rocks below. The chief was not willing to sacrifice any of the princesses, so he elected to allow the sickness to run it’s course.

When the Chief’s daughter saw that the sickness had affected her lover, she went up to the top of the cliff and threw herself to the rocks below. Upon her death, the sickness immediately began to leave the affected people.

Now, when the breeze blows through the water, a silvery stream separates from the upper falls. The misty stream fashions a form of the maiden, a token of the “Great Spirit’s” acceptance of her sacrifice.

Here is a more detailed version of the Multnomah Princess Legend.

When you are traveling along I-84 through the gorge between Portland and Hood River, I highly recommend that you stop by the falls to enjoy its magnificence
Multnomah Falls from a high vantage point

bad news…

Every day, there are children born with a variety of health challenges that are the result of premature birth. March of Dimes has helped the health community in their research to reduce the frequency of premature births that cause many of the health challenges.

On April 25, 2009, I will join the thousands of people across the USA who are walking to raise funds for the March of Dimes in the March for Babies.

Many of the people who are walking to raise funds for March of Dimes are doing so because they have children or grandchildren who have been born with challenges that resulted from premature birth. I am so thankful that my three amazing children were born perfectly healthy. I don’t have any first hand experience in dealing with the issues that other families have had to overcome. I can’t imagine the difficulties and the emotional stress that other families have had to work through. I hope that I never find out, but if I am ever faced with it through someone near and dear to my heart, it is comforting to know that I can turn to an organization like March of Dimes for help.

You Can Help

Yes, of course I am soliciting donations. If you are able and would like to contribute to March of Dimes and sponsor me in this walk, please do so. Clicking on on the link in this paragraph or the banner at the end of this post will take you to a page where you can donate either by credit card or with PayPal.

Whether or not you are able or even care to contribute financially, there are other ways that you can help. I am attempting to create sort of a “viral” campaign on the internet. You can help in the cause by taking a few minutes to promote this efforts to your sphere of influence.

Did you arrive here as the result of an email message?
Take a look at the list of recipients of the message you received. If you have people in your address book that didn’t get the message, forward the message to them. If you prefer, draft your own message with a link to this post and send it to your contact list.

Do you have a Facebook profile? Copy the following line and past it into the “What are you doing now” box on your profile.

supporting the March for Babies. http://highvantagepoint.com/around-the-neighborhood/bad-news

Do you Twitter? If you don’t know what Twitter is, don’t worry about it. If you are a Twit, like me, please send out the following tweet.

RT I’m helping @ohohdon and March of Dimes fight for baby’s lives. http://budurl.com/yhtw

Use your other Social Networking tools.
Stumble this post, Digg it, add it to your del.icio.us favorites, or any other social media that you use.

Do you have a blog? Please write a short blog post that links to this post.

Performing any of these suggested activities will take only a few minutes of your time, but will expand the reach of this message many times greater than I can do on my own and provide many thousands of people the opportunity to support a great cause. Don’t do it for me – do it for the babies and the families that pour out their heart and soul to love and care for their child who was born with problems that resulted from premature birth.

Avoid the long lines

While we shopping in a grocery store, during our recent trip to McCall, Idaho, I decided that I needed to find a restroom. As I walked past the women’s restroom on the way to the men’s room, I noticed that there was a long line of women waiting for their turn. After walking right into the men’s room and going about my business without a wait, I thought to myself, “I’m glad I’m a man.”

I thought of a few more reasons for my gender satisfaction.

Fifteen of my Top Reasons that I’m happy to be a man

1. A five-day vacation requires only one suitcase.
2. My grey hair and wrinkles add character.
3. The same hairstyle lasts for years, maybe decades.
4. I can open all my own jars.
5. I get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness.
6. I don’t have to stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt.
7. My belly hides my big hips (Or, maybe I don’t have big hips – don’t know – I can’t see past my belly).
8. Car mechanics tell me the truth.
9. I know which screwdriver is which.
10. I don’t give a rip if someone notices my new haircut or not.
11. I can “do” my nails with a pocketknife.
12. One wallet and one pair of shoes, one color, all seasons.
13. My underwear is $10 for a three-pack.
14. Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds.
15. The garage is all mine.

“Kiss” by Ted Dekker and Erin Healy

My wife, Leslie, and I enjoy listening to audio books while we travel. During our recent trip to the Winter Carnival in McCall, Idaho, we selected “Kiss” by Ted Dekker for our listening pleasure.

kiss-by-ted-dekker-and-erin-healy“Kiss” is a suspenseful story. I felt the hopelessness of trusting the wrong people – not knowing who to trust. Good people turned out to be bad and bad people turned out to be good. I felt like calling out to the character in the book to warn her about trusting the wrong people.

If you’re looking for a book that provides deep, philosophical, thought-provoking material, then keep looking. There wasn’t much for me to take away to consider how I might understand life better, or make myself a better person. It’s definitely a book that you read simply for pleasure, and it provides plenty of that. It is an engrossing, edge-of-the-seat thriller that will keep you hanging from the first page to the last.

Video Trailer


Books by Ted Dekker


More Reviews of “Kiss” by Ed Dekker and Erin Healy

Christian Novels: Kiss by Ted Dekker and Erin Healy

When you open a Ted Dekker novel, you know you’re in for a mind-blowing ride. In Kiss, Dekker and Healy send you on that ride in the black of night. This is Blink on a caffeine high with a touch of amnesia. …

My Friend Amy: Review: Kiss by Ted Dekker and Erin Healy

I pick up maybe 5 to 6 books a year to read, but I got a copy of Kiss by Ted Dekker and Erin Healy. It is I have to say a great read. Dekker’s work is always good but with first time author Healy, this book is outstanding. …

Window To My World: Kiss by Ted Dekker and Erin Healy

Just about the time I think Ted Dekker can’t possibly get any better…he does! This time he has combined his talent with that of Erin Healy to create the most amazing plot twists imaginable! The result is Kiss – a story …

7 – Kiss; Ted Dekker and Erin Healy

Ted Dekker is a “new to me author”. He is known for writing Christian Fiction, which I generally do not read, but this novel was a psychological thriller so I decided to give it a try. I was not disappointed. I read this book in one day …

Finding Hope Through Fiction: TED DEKKER & ERIN HEALY BOOK SIGNING …

New Book “Kiss” written by Ted Dekker and Erin Healy – It’s a great thrill ride you’ll want to take. TED DEKKER AND ERIN HEALY To my great surprise I met a fellow blogger in line. Her name is Kim Wood. The name of her blog is Window to …


As my siblings and I were growing up, I remember Mom expressing many times how she wished her children were still babies. Oh, how she loved the “baby years.”

When our first daughter, Alyssa, was born and began to grow and develop, I realized that I loved her as a baby, but more than that, I loved to witness each phase of development. I would never wish for them to remain as babies.

Rolling over by herself
Standing while holding onto something
Taking first steps
Muttering first words
Talking incessantly
Potty training
First day of kindergarten
Sleepovers with friends
More boyfriends
High school graduation
Going away for college
College graduation
Living independently
First job
Serious boyfriend
Graduate school…..

All this has led to….now….

Two weeks ago, Alyssa’s boyfriend, Casey, met Leslie and I for breakfast, at his invitation. He arranged this meeting to ask for permission to marry our daughter. He drove all the way from Idaho, overnight, to do this.

About Alyssa

The name “Alyssa” comes from the Greek word meaning “against madness”, or “Rational”, which was a highly regarded characteristic in the time. It is also the name for a flowering herb, Alyssum, or commonly called “Sweet Alyssum”.

Alyssa’s middle name is Brooke, which is from my Grandfather’s middle name of “Brooks”. A brook is a small quiet stream which to me symbolizes peace an tranquility, a comforting spirit.

When Alyssa was dedicated as a baby, the pastor prayed for her to keep her body pure and clean in God’s sight and that she would grow and develop in righteousness. Then he prayed that God would begin at that moment to do the same for some young man in preparation for them to unite.

God answers prayer

christmasAlyssa began dating Casey only a few months ago, but they have been good friends for several years. Casey grew up near our current home in East Valley. He attended a different Nazarene church than the one we attend, but our church youth groups combined for various activities, so Alyssa and Casey were acquainted back then. In fact, Casey had even been in our home a few times during his high school years.

Casey and Alyssa both attended Northwest Nazarene University. While there, they began attending the same church, mostly because Casey didn’t have a car so he would hitch a ride there with Alyssa. Today, they continue to attend that church and Casey is on staff there as the Children’s Pastor.

When Alyssa announced to us that she and Casey had begun to date, Leslie and I both agreed, “What took you so long?” We had both wondered for several years, of all the guys that Alyssa dated, why she didn’t pick Casey. Alyssa reasoned to us later that she didn’t want to take the chance that it would mess up a great friendship.

God is fulfilling his plan

Tonight, Casey proposed to Alyssa.

I couldn’t have planned it better myself.

McCall Idaho 2009-01-31

Every year, at this time, McCall Idaho puts on a huge week-long event that they call the Winter Carnival. This year marks the second consecutive year that our family has participated.

We arrived in McCall at around noon and promptly opened the trunk of the car for a little 25 degree tailgate party.

After lunch, we roamed the town for about 5 hours. They have the most amazing ice sculptures. Some of the artists have created incredible detail in their work.

My only regret, was that the 2Moto race was scheduled for the following weekend, so we planned our trip for the wrong weekend.

I’ve posted my photos from our trip, here.

Watch out, Arizona Cardinals

Though I will be cheering for the Arizona Cardinals to beat the Pittsburg Steelers in the Superbowl, it should be difficult for them to win.

The Cardinals have had a great season, but I doubt they have ever played in a game where their 11 players had to compete with 18 opponents on the field at the same time.

Do you remember the last time that the Pittsburg Steelers were in the superbowl?