Posts Tagged ‘tell a better story’

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.


prayerofprotectionThe date was May 15, 2004. It was a day I’d like to forget but I doubt that will ever happen. It was the day I had a heart attack. It was a mild one, a wake-up call really, and I now know God used it to do a work in my life, but on that day I was terrified. As I laid in the ICU, my mother-in-law came to see me and read me Psalm 91. While I am sure I had read it several times before, it never hit home like it did on that day of fear and trembling. There is such tremendous hope in this passage of Scripture.

Fast forward to today. I just finished reading the book, The Prayer of Protection by Joseph Prince. I have to admit, I only read this book because it was offered to me by his publishing company for free so that I could review it here. It’s not that I had anything against Pastor Prince, I had just never heard of him and I have a lot of books. I am extremely grateful for that email because this was a really good book and I will no doubt look up more of his books in the future.

In The Prayer of Protection, Prince breaks down Psalm 91 verse by verse and offers this Psalm as a prayer for God’s protection. This book is a head scratcher in the best sense of the word. I have to admit I struggled at times because it almost seemed to easy. Pastor Prince simply believes that we can pray this Psalm against the plans of the enemy over our lives. At first I really wanted to debate this. After all, I’ve seen bad things happen to people who love the Lord and so, I’m sure, have you. What made me scratch my head though was thinking, “Why am I pushing back against this?” What if I prayed this prayer in faith and took God at His Word. After all, that would be what I would instruct others to do. What if God wants to bless us with even more protection, and we need only to take Him seriously and trust in Jesus who paid the price for us? t the very least this book got me thinking more about praying God’s Word over my life and the lives of the people I love. After all, I use this passage often to give people peace and comfort in the tough times of their life. Maybe God means it for more. It is at the very least worthy of consideration.

Prince peppers the book with personal testimonies from people who have experienced God’s protection in the various ways described in the pages of the book. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it got me to really consider “the prayer offered in faith” as James tells us. The book made me challenge the way I look at prayer and I am happy for the challenge. I will be committing Psalm 91 to emory in the weeks ahead. That challenge alone was worth the time it took to read the book. It’s a good read.

I have had a wonderful week ministering to the folks at Greenmount Church of the Brethren in Harrisonburg, VA this week and this morning I am hitting the road for home which is always great, because as much as I love my ministry I do miss my family and the folks at home. The result is a short post this morning. I happened to jump over to Facebook quick before I pack the computer for the journey home. I’m FB friends with Steve Wiggins, the lead singer of the band Big Tent Revival. He posted a picture that someone had wrote him in on an absentee ballot for president. When I saw it, I thought about what is probably my favorite song from them. It’s called Two Sets of Joneses. This is the epitome of telling a better story, and a real reminder for all of us. Jesus needs to be the center of our lives. If He is, we will be able to tell (and live) a better story.

Scott Erickson is one of the most innovative, thought provoking artists out there. Check out this awesome film he just made and see if it doesn’t touch your heart. This is telling a better story at its finest.

winningplaysmattmFrom time to time, I am offered books for the purposes of being reviewed and I will admit to having been a little nervous about this one. A book called Winning Plays by a former professional athlete I didn’t really know a lot about concerned me, but it was free so I thought I would give it a shot. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good sports story, but I had visions of this being one of those “rah-rah-sis-boom-bah” books I couldn’t relate to. I was pleasantly surprised. This is a pretty good book.

It’s part biography and part motivation and it deals not so much with success (though that is the end result) as with overcoming failure. Matt Mayberry was a 16 year old drug addict, who overcame his demons to get a division one football scholarship and got to play for his childhood favorite team the Chicago Bears. Within the story, Matt gives helpful hints and things to tackle as we go through out own struggles and hardships. He is relatable and hopeful. This book really spoke to me. There were only two things I found troublesome. The first is it includes a little bit of language that might be off-putting to some readers. It is far from gratuitous but some readers may be offended. The other is my own sensitivity, in that he refers to a season ending (and as it were) career ending injury as a personal failure. While it was certainly something to be overcome and something he has risen above very nicely, I didn’t see that as a failure. Nonetheless, those two things were very minor compared to the inspirational benefits that could come as a result of reading this book.

I highly recommend it both as the biography of an overcomer and as a motivational book that could help the reader to become an overcomer as well.

Just watch…

Alright I have had it. I know people and companies have a right to do what they want with their characters but I am what’s known as irate at the moment. I, Dave Weiss, am something of a comic book fan. I don’t geek out over them, but I really enjoy the movies, and being something of a cartoonist myself, I love using the medium of words and pictures to tell stories. The stories are the key. They’re a bit of escapism but they can also provide some pretty nice commentary on what’s going on in our world. Maybe that’s why I’m so irritated.

I know there’s a trend toward the anti-hero and I pretty much hate that and always have. These are people who vary from doing bad for good to villains and psychopaths that people inexplicably root for. I can’t stand it. I like my escapism a bit more black and white. The good guys fight the bad guys and while they may take a beating, at the end of the day the good guys win. It may not always happen like that in the real world, but it should. One guy we could always count on for this was Captain America. In a world full of bad guys, here was a guy that was truly all about truth, justice and the American way (Yes, I know that’s the other comic company, but you get the point). I say “was” for a reason.

The “geniuses” at Marvel have decided to start a new story arc which says Captain America is and always was a Hydra agent. Hydra came out of the WWII era and was based in Naziism. Yes folks according to these writers, Captain America is and always has been a Nazi. I’m infuriated. I know, I know, you might be thinking there are a lot more important things to get infuriated about. Oh believe me I know and I’m finding myself becoming increasingly flabbergasted in our world. In this generation that calls evil good (Isaiah 5:20), the first step is to make good evil. Am I aware that no one is perfect? Yes! Am I aware that everyone, even me, struggles with sin and evil? Yes, painfully aware! But what we are doing over and over again is glorifying the dark side of humanity. What is wrong with setting up an ideal? What is wrong with the good guys winning? What is wrong with giving us something to shoot for? Absolutely nothing. These stories are more than just comics, they’re part of the mythology of our society. If you want to wreck a society, the first step is to wreck its stories, take down its heroes and make them evil. There is an agenda here that is a lot bigger than a comic book and we ignore it at our peril.

This nation is far from perfect but there is still good here. We could still be the shining city on a hill that our forefathers intended and it all starts with the stories we tell. My creative brothers and sisters, the media has once again failed us. If positive, heroic stories are going to be told, they are going to have to be told by us. We have the opportunity to tell stories of good triumphing over evil, stories of self sacrificing good people who put others before themselves, stories of people who overcome adversity and stay good in spite of incredible odds. Of course these stories are patterned after the ultimate self-sacrificing Hero who really did always stay good, and yes the media has long tried to vilify Him too.

This world needs heroes, both real and fictional, who point us to the Hero who came to save us all. God help us!