Archive | September 2009

Heck: Where The Bad Kids Go by Dale E. Basye

5104qe6ys0l_ss500_Heck: Where The Bad Kids Go

by Dale E. Basye

Where do the bad kids go? If a really rotten kid dies, do they go to a) heaven, b) hell, or c) somewhere else? If you answered c, then maybe you’ve been reading the kids book Heck: Where The Bad Kids Go. Welcome to Heck. It’s not quite hell, but it isn’t a pleasant place to be either. Heck is where underage sinners go to be rehabilitated or punished for all eternity – or until they turn 18. Heck is not a place you want to spend any time. Are you in danger of spending time in Heck?

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Flash Forward

115783_GROUP5Two minutes and seventeen seconds.

That’s how long it took to change everything. One moment, life is going along as normal. Two minutes and seventeen seconds later and nothing will ever be the same again.

Simultaneously across the globe, every single person on the planet blacks out and has a vision of what they will be doing in six months time. In the mean time, cars are crashing, surgery patients are flat-lining, and surfers are drowning. The world is plunged into chaos. No one knows what is happening or why. And even after all the fires are put out, how will people deal with what they have seen in the future? This is the premise of Flash Forward and I’m keen to find out where this is going.

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glee-castI spent a long time trying to work out if I wanted to watch this show. Musicals can be very hit and miss with me. Set it in a highschool and the chances of me enjoying it drop dramatically. But throw in a level of self awareness, some black comedy and some quirky characters? Now things are looking better.

Glee is the story of a small town high school in the middle of nowhere. You have those at the top of the popularity spectrum – your cheerleaders and football players. And at the very bottom you have those who are in the glee club. Will these kids achieve against all odds? Will they find self esteem through performance? Is this their one and only opportunity to find satisfaction in life? Welcome to high school life Glee style.

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Windows 7 House Party Launch

windows-7There’s been a lot of buzz going around about the new Windows operating system Windows 7. It’s meant to be a massive improvement over Windows Vista (which some would say isn’t hard). Microsoft seem to be taking a whole new approach with Windows 7, following on the heels of the success of Office 2007. What’s got my attention is how Microsoft plan on launching this new product. In store displays? No. A presentation to a packed out theatre of people? No. Tupperware style parties across the world? YES!

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Greg Clarke on The Lost Symbol

Dan Brown, of Da Vinci Code fame, has a new book out called The Lost Symbol. Here’s Greg Clarke from Centre for Public Christianity reviewing the book.

Childrens Literature: The Future Frontier

kidsbooksChildren’s literature is an interesting beast. The bookstore shelves are filled with books hoping and dreaming to be the next Harry Potter. Brightly coloured covers adorn the books, all of them hoping to hook you in with Book 1 so you’ll stick around for the rest of the series. It’s not about reading and enjoying one book – it’s about committment to the franchise. The kids section of the bookstore has always been on my radar, but rarely have I done more than dip my toe into the waters. No more! Here lies the pop culture of the future. What is being published here impacts not only the worlds of movies and television, but it shapes the minds of an entire generation. So what are these underagers reading?

Recently I picked up a kids book called Heck: Where The Bad Kids Go, for obvious Pop Culture Christ related reasons. It had me questioning the content and craft of books aimed at teens and pre-teens. Last Saturday I plunked myself down in the kids section of the local bookstore to study the shelves. Gazing at glittery covers and books about teenage spies. This is a world that I’m keen to explore.

Here’s where you can help. If you’re a teen or pre-teen (or you’re a parent of a teen or pre-teen or work with them and can answer on their behalf), what are you reading? What attracts you to a series? What are the most popular books at your school library that always seem to be out? Are there any books or series that are just screaming out for the Pop Culture Christ treatment? It doesn’t have to have religious themes, but if everyone is reading it, I want to know. Speak up in the comments!

Speaking to Teenagers by Doug Fields and Duffy Robbins

d_1124Speaking to Teenagers: How to Think About, Create, & Deliver Effective Messages

Written by Doug Fields and Duffy Robbins

Years ago, my church started a new congregation for high-schoolers. It was an exciting time. But there was one thing I never understood. Whenever it was time for one of the student ministers to preach, they were incredibly anxious. Sweating blood anxious. For them, speaking to teenagers was on the same level as jumping out of a plane without a parachute while wrestling with an irate grizzly bear. Being only a few years out of high-school myself, I didn’t understand what the big deal was. I think they would have been more confident if they had read Fields and Robbins book Speaking to Teenagers.

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Looking Forward: September 2009

It’s good to look forward to something. To take a look at what’s coming up. And considering Jesus is keeping quiet on the release date of Creation 2.0, what have we got to look forward to in the month ahead? What’s coming up in September 2009 that we should be keeping an eye out for?

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