Archive for the ‘books’ Category

I just read the newest revised edition of the book, and I have to tell you it’s incredible. Gordon MacDonald is a 50+ year pastor and sought after speaker. He starts off very vulnerably talking about a time when he hit bottom, when his public world looked pretty good as his private world was falling apart, and then spends the rest of the book going over all sorts struggles to be overcome and ways to overcome them. This book is full of practical advice from someone who has been there. As a church leader, I can’t recommend this book highly enough. It can get really easy to get caught up in activity and trying to be by on your natural, albeit God-given talents, but the truth is, those things will only take you so far. In order to be truly effective in following Christ, we need to be connected to the Source of our power. Ordering Your Private World can help you stop running on empty and get back to serving God with joy.

I serve a small congregation of wonderful people who love the Lord, are for the most part deeply spiritual and really live to serve the Lord and other, and I would still love to get each and every one of them a copy of this book. It is just fantastic and would be helpful to any believer.


I just finished Mike Dellosso’s second book in the Jed Patrick series, Kill Devil and it is every bit the page turner that the first book, Centralia, was, and even more. This is a great work of fiction that keeps the reader hooked to the very end. The story follows Jed Patrick, a soldier whose memory and history has been erased. In Kill Devil, Jed continues to regain memories, but his past is coming back to haunt him. It seems like the world is against him, in a conspiracy that reaches to the highest levels of government. There is no place to run and no place to hide as he races against time, trying to survive. It is also a story of recovering and growing faith. This is a very good book.

I only have one word of caution for the reader. Kill Devil is a true sequel. While it probably could stand alone, I highly recommend reading the first book in the series, Centralia, before reading Kill Devil. Reading the books in order will help the reader to understand a complex storyline a lot better and enjoy it a lot more. This is a definite five star book that any fan of thrillers will love—another top notch effort by Mike Dellosso! This guy is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. If you haven’t read any of Mike’s books yet, pick one up today.

I almost titled this review “Don’t read Mike Dellosso unless you have nothing else to do” but then I thought it might dissuade someone from reading his work and that would be a mistake. This guy can write a page turner like few others. It’s just they’re really hard to put down. Centralia is a fast paced page turner that follows Peter Ryan, a man whose life is a complete mystery. When attacked this humble research assistant suddenly has fighting/military skills he doesn’t know he has and he doesn’t know why. His journey leads him to the mysterious town of Centralia, PA, a real life town that was abandoned because it sits above and underground mine fire that has been burning for decades. It’s abandoned state leaves it the perfect place for nefarious experiments and government conspiracies. I know it’s painfully cliche to say it this way but this book is a thrill ride.

I had the opportunity to meet Mike at the Montrose Christian Writers Conference. I sat in on a couple of his sessions on fiction writing and couldn’t wait to read some of his work. I was not disappointed. This book has everything, except the stuff that I’d just as soon not have. It’s clean and well written. It’s got a lot of action, some violence, but it’s not, for the most part, gory or gratuitous and while there is clearly a message of faith, it’s not oversimplified or cliched. Centralia is a thought provoking and original read that I highly recommend—especially if you have some time on your hands. As sated before, it’s really hard to put down.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. In it Jenkins goes back and forth between a first century Jerusalem and modern day life to craft a pretty cohesive thriller. We start in a Roman prison. The Apostle Paul is in his last imprisonment before his impending death. Luke is going back and forth between helping him and treating victims of a great fire in Rome, a fire ostensibly started by the Emperor Nero but blamed on the Christians as a way to crush the movement. Paul is requesting his parchments, which contain his memoir, his life story. In modern day, seminary professor Augie Knox gets pulled into a case of intrigue trying to find that memoir, which was stolen during an archaeological dig.

The juxtaposition of chapters is part of what makes this a great story. There are two concurrent storylines that each keep those pages turning. The Pauline memoir is fleshed out scripture which while taking liberties to fill in the story do not seem to take away from the biblical narrative. If I had one complaint about this book, and it is a small one, I would have liked to see the final struggle in the modern day storyline expanded upon a bit more. The conclusion comes a little too easily, but again that is a small complaint, and over all I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Jenkins leaves the story a little open ended, leaving the possibility of a sequel on the table. That is a book I would love to read.

Another way to beat creative block and make the most of your creative opportunities.

So you have limited time to be creative? But now one of those golden moments comes upon you. What are you going to do with it? Do not let this moment pass.

It’s happened to me a lot, how about you? You finally get some creative time and you’re either blocked creatively or you spend half the time looking for the materials you need to bring your project to fruition. What can you do about it? Well any Boy Scout can tell you, (because it’s their motto) Be Prepared!

Here’s how:
If ideas are your problem, you should be storing them (See chapter 2). You should have a notebook or a computer file full of them ready for when that moment comes. Then you can just grab it and get started. 

Secondly, you’ll need to organize your materials. If you’re blessed to have a studio keep it stocked and organized. A place for everything and everything is in it’s place. If you don;t have a space, keep a box or a bag stocked with your essential tools and materials ready so when the moment is right, you can grab it and get to work. I keep a sketchbook and my laptop nearby at all times so that I at least have the bare minimum, plus my studio is set up and for the most part ready for action. My area of needed improvement is in organization, but even so, for the most part, I can at least start a project at a moment’s notice.

Creativity and inspiration sometimes strike at odd times. You’ve got to be ready.

The Daily Creative

Posted: June 14, 2017 in books

Another page from my upcoming book.

I would love see what you do with this writing challenge. Share your results in the comments.

Another way to overcome creative block.

One of the things I hear creatives say all the time is they just don’t have time to create. Nothing could be further from the truth. Now I will concede that there are times when our schedules are so full or when unexpected things destroy our best laid plans, but for the most part, if we want to badly enough, we can find time to create. Here are a few ideas:

1. Get up an hour earlier and use that time to create.
2. Go to bed and hour later and use that time to create.
3. Identify the time vampires in your life that suck up all your time and give little in return.
4. TV time. Now I do not recommend stealing from your family time. Few thing will make your loved ones resent your work more than being placed behind it, but if all you’re doing is watching TV, why not have a sketchbook or note pad with you to et a little work done while you watch/listen?
5. Make your lunch hour creative hour. 

Of course, these are just a few, there are many more just look for the gaps in your schedule handful some of them with the creative projects that will bring joy to your life and help you accomplish your dreams.