The Accidental Hero by Joshua Graham

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Big Pete is a hitman that was hired to kill a local minister.  However, though a series of random events Pete decides to turn himself into the police and tells them about every hit he  performed and every client that hired him.

The story was decent, but seemed a bit silly at times.  Also, I would recommend the author watch a few prison documentaries.  His description of Pete’s life behind bars as a death row inmate is ludicrous, because Pete freely interacts with the general population and is housed with random cellmates.

The Anti-Christ by Friedrich Nietzsche

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Nietzsche was extremely critical of Christianity in the book “The Anti-Christ.”  There are scholars who believe the title of his book should have been translated as “The Anti-Christian.”  It fits with the wording and matches the book’s theme.

According to Nietzsche, “The very word ‘Christianity’ is a misunderstanding — in truth, there was only one Christian, and he died on the cross.”

Nietzsche felt Christianity pushed pity on followers, to the point of creating suffering among the believers.  He viewed religious leaders as manipulative liars and hypocrites.  He also believed faith was used to push people to accept what the church teaches, without questioning and without seeking for factual information.

His words were harsh; however, a quick review of the history of Christianity will reveal they were not unfounded.

I think, sometimes we need to pay attention to those who are critical of our belief system.  I admit, it’s not an easy thing to do.  However; we may find discrepancies or inadequacies that were previously missed by us.  If what we believe is true, it will hold up to research and questioning.  Therefore, there is no reason to refuse to check the facts behind what we are being taught.

The Bahamas – Freeport

Our first stop in The Bahamas was Freeport.  Malia hired a taxi driver to give us a tour of the city.

The driver provided historical information on what we were viewing.  She also answered all our questions and was a wonderful tour guide.

I learned about the government, which is democratic in nature.  I also learned about the health care system for the citizens.  The cost for medical care is dedicated from their paychecks in the form of taxes.

The predominate religions are Catholic and Baptist.  The driver explained how God comes first in their lives and government.

Talking to her was educational and enjoyable.  I am glad Malia persuaded me to join her on the tour.

If I Could, I Would

A few weeks ago, I was at church and the preacher was talking about various things we hear when reading the Bible and how we should, or would if we could, react to those messages.

This is what I hear and should do or would do if I could:

  • I hear forgiveness.  If I could, I would be more forgiving of others and show mercy to others.
  • I hear love.  If I could, I would be an example of that love and teach others about the love of God.
  • I hear hope.  If I could, I would rely on that hope and not suffer from anxiety attacks.
  • I hear commitment.  If I could, I would finish what I start and be dedicated to the task at hand.
  • I hear freedom.  If I could, I would live as a person free from sin and condemnation.

This message was part of a series and the basic points of the series are:

  • Put your faith into action
  • Don’t show partiality, love others, love equally, and love freely
  • Freedom from legalism is freedom to love
  • Don’t be a slave to sin, instead be a slave to righteousness
  • Don’t be a salve to the law, instead be a slave to the word of God

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The Chosen by Chaim Potok

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In the beginning, it was difficult to see where the author was going with the story.  I read four chapters before I understood the plot.

The setting of the story is Brooklyn, New York, during the early 1940’s.  The main characters are teenage boys named Danny and Reuven.  Both boys come from Jewish families; however, Danny is an ultra-orthodox Jew and his father would normally not allow Danny to hang out with Reuven.

The boys got to know each other after a baseball game.  Reuven was pitching and Danny hit the ball straight into Reuven’s face.  Since Reuven was wearing glasses, he needed surgery to remove glass from one of his eyes.

Danny felt horrible about the accident and would visit Reuven at the hospital.  At first Reuven had no desire to befriend Danny, but Reuven’s father thought it was important for the boys to become friends.  He told Reuven, “The Talmud says a person should do two things for themselves.”  The first was to find a teacher and the second was to find a friend.

Eventually, a friendship developed between the boys.  It required a lot of work and things didn’t always go smoothly.

The story teaches us a lot about the benefits of friendship and the importance of maintaining a friendship even when it is difficult.

Even though the book had a slow start, I did enjoy reading it and gained some perspective on the value of friendships.