Friday, January 23, 2009

More on "Me, Myself, and Bob"

Let's just say that the last 40 - 50 pages of "Me, Myself, and Bob" rocked my theology. Well, rocked may be a strong word...but strongly reinforced my current view on things may not have been as attention grabbing.

The book is definitely worth reading and buying...but the end makes it a must read for our "earn our way into the Heaven Hall 'o Fame" crowd that permeates middle class Christianity.

Vischer goes as far as to say that his mid-America conservative Christian upbringing created a cauldren in him that was equal parts ambition, God pleaser and Christian. He says his MTV inspired vision to become a Christian Walt Disney was so out of whack theologically, and so intoxicating in the moment, that he didn't even realize how outside the lines he had gotten. It took losing everything ($44 million business to a $12 million judgement against him, followed by a requisite auction of everything of value in the company - that's a $56 million swing or loss - literally overnight) for God to get his attention and to realize that God doesn't need him.

God "reveals" his plans for us very selectively. Until then, our part is to do what Noah did before God revealed his plan to him..."Noah was a righteous man. Noah walked with God."

Frankly, I'm a planner. I have long range plans, intermediate plans, annual plans...most of which feed a master plan that I hope will get me on a different plane or level...maybe even to the Christian Cooperstown.

I need to do better at "walking with God".

Thanks Phil.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Books I'm Reading

Outliers by Malcom Gladwell. I'm biased here, but Malcom Gladwell is my favorite author. He could write poetry on toilet paper and I would buy it. His previous two books The Tipping Point and Blink were homeruns. I might like this one best of all. The premise is on what makes people successful. He takes the age old arguement of nature vs. nurture and turns it on its head. It's not just the obvious...that both make exceptional people...but how exceptionally successful people got some amazing breaks, and how societies can learn from what breaks can be orchestrated. I like books that make me think, and this one did that.

Me, Myself, and Bob by Phil Vischer. First, he's my age (plus or minus a few months) so his entire upbringing brings tremendous nostalgia. Second, he's a creative type, raised in Christian circles who became an exceptional success in his field...if you've read previous posts, you can see this has been an angst issue for me lately. Probably the neatest thing is that he gives credit to MTV for inpiring him. He watched it a lot. And as a churchy-youthgroup-kid he felt moral tension watching Madonna gyrate to "Like a Virgin" in the 80's. Rather than spray paint her garage door with "repent" (his words), he said I need to do he made Veggie Tail videos. That's just cool...and he was 15 when he got the calling. Oh, and the financial lessons of this book are priceless.

Czar by Ted Bell. I'm a sucker for Bourne-like male-oriented entertainment...and that's what Ted Bell gives you. A mindless, action packed, respite from reality...for me, it filled the void over the holidays until 24 started up again. And, it was a great read.

That's it.