Tuesday, October 19, 2010

first things first
Kurt and Brenda Warner

A Review

“first things first” is my second book this month about the people of football. As I said earlier, I am not a football fan, but enjoy reading about people who have made a lasting impact on others. Kurt and Brenda Warner have done this.

Beginning with their first meeting, the books gives a glimpse into their family of seven and “rules” that allowed it to work. Though the “rules” have not been written down – other than a lopsided summary given by the kids as transcribed by a New York Times reporter – the family has allowed life to work for them.

Though Kurt Warner took his time understanding what faith was all about, his decision came, not so much of the testimony of his future wife, as the patient teaching he received from his teammates. But once the decision to follow Jesus was made, it obviously became the core of his life: before his team, before his family, and before his wife. Not to diminish the role of his team, family, and wife – but he had to place first things first.

But the book is not just Kurt's story, it is also his wife's. Each chapter address similar issues of life – first from Kurt's perspective and then from Brenda's. As they lay out the day, Kurt discusses the pattern that defines each day as the kids get ready for school – both in and out of football season. Brenda follows up with an acknowledgment that, with a large family, the pattern that works for Kurt, can, in real life, become quite hectic. The book is an attempt to get a real look at a very real family.

Reading the book has given me an increased appreciation for my wife – and all that she contributes to mine. Though our kids are all out of the house, I learned much of what it means to be a husband in a modern family. If you love football, if you love your family, if you are struggling to make your family work, “first things first” will better prepare you for the job.

This review is based on a free copy received from Amazon.com for use on its PC Kindle app.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Remember Why You Play:
Faith, Football, and A Season to Believe
David Thomas

A Review

I am not normally a football fan – but when I first heard the story of Faith Christian High School a year ago, tears came to my eyes. More recently, the story was refreshed when I watched a YouTube video about the school and how it reached out to the Texas state school for boys.

I was excited to read the story of Coach Hogan, the school, and football team that left a lasting impression on the lives of 14 boys from the state school. Actually, the book follows the team from its pre-season planning, through early two-a-days, through the final game of the year – the year before the school was asked to play, for the first time, the Texas state school.

I found the first third of the book, as the coaches and team prepared for the season, of interest. It caught my attention and kept drawing me back into the book. However, much of the book is a week-by-week, game-by-game, analysis of the lives, decision, attitudes, and plays made on the field. As I said, I am not a football fan, and weekly recaps became less and less interesting. The comments on players, coaches, and others, which introduced each chapter, were uplifting, but the play-play recap of what happened on the field was less so. By the time I reached week three or four, I felt like I was rereading the same game over and over. A football fan may have enjoyed the on-field experience, I did not.

I do recommend the book. If you are like me, you might want to skim the parts of each chapter that focus on the game itself. However, do skim (and not skip) even these parts, because there are occasionally thoughtful insights on living life and sportsmanship – like when it might be appropriate for a quarterback to take a knee on the final play of a game. And when the book is over, you can be glad that a team of 40 and a team of 14 were able to change each other’s lives.

This review is based on a free copy provided by Amazon.com on its Kindle e-reader.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Code Triage - A Review

Code Triage


Candace Calvert

A Review

“Nothing is forever and ever.” That is what her mother had told her and now Dr. Leigh Stathos believed it. It would take a remarkable set of events and the Grace of God to convince her that her mother was wrong.

When Tyndale first offered a review copy of this book, they called it a “Medical Thriller” - so I asked for the privilege of reading it. They agreed to let me review it; but before my free review copy arrived, I read a second description of the book - “... a Christian romance.” Now I was not sure I wanted to read it. However, when the book arrived a week ago, I decided to give it a try – and it held my interest.

With too very different villains and the others that God put across her path, Dr. Stathos would discover that some things can last “forever and ever.” Like most things in life, it would not be easy, but with her new found faith and the support of her friends and her pet horse, Frisco, she would find a path that for some is too easy to miss.

Though this book is the third of a series, it does stand alone – with new characters in a new city at a new hospital. Only in the epilog does the author bring the characters from all three books together. And, except that I had read the discussion questions found at the back of the book, I would not have known about the crossover between the three books

In spite of my earlier reservations, I would recommend this book for anyone with a sensitive heart. Perhaps, like Dr. Leigh Stathos, they could find that some things are “forever and ever.”