Sunday, March 27, 2011

Final book review for this blog: Time with God for Fathers

Well there you have it folks, you heard it here first. This will be the final book review from this blog. You may or may not be wondering why I would kill off the last residue of consistent posting by doing this. Well there is a multitude of reasons, but I’m not going to share just yet. I will keep reviewing books, just not here. I won’t tell you where until I actually register the new site. Let’s just say that the title of the new page will make you smile. In the future, this blog will be used to focus on a new direction.

Booksneeze, a division of Thomas Nelson Publishers, sent me a book for a review. My review does not have to be positive. The most recent book I requested is called “time with God for Fathers”, by Jack Countryman. Fortunately for the book, I judge them largely by their covers. This hard-backed number has a nice finish, a sturdy binding, and best of all, an elastic place holder. Much more convenient than a traditional ribbon, this manly strap keeps pages where they need to be.

Unfortunately, that’s about the best thing I can say for the book. it’s a series of incredibly brief devotionals. Usually a small passage (2-3 verses), followed by a paragraph for reflection. While this makes it easy to breeze through the book, it leaves little substance behind. I have no qualms with the content of the book itself. In fact, about 1 out of every 5 devotions was quite insightful to me. The problem is that this book is not worth the 9.99 you will shell out to obtain it. The book ends with some indexes of verses for different situations, which I suppose is nice.

With a title like “time with God for Fathers”, you would think the book would help you spend more, not less time with God. These teeny devotions are not even long enough for a morning rest on the throne if you catch my meaning. If you don’t, I”m saying that a bathroom break will use up about 4 devotions if you’re quick.

Decent, not great content. Too short, excellent cover= 3 out of 5

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Christian animation

For Booksneeze, I received a set of 3 Hermie & Friends DVDs. In return, I will review them without having to give a good review. Here’s what I’ve decided. In order for CG animation to be great, a few things are necessary:

1) keep it simple. Veggie tales pulls it off because there are no moving limbs. Hermie does not because it’s about centipedes, catipillars, spiders, and other multi-legged bugs.

2) keep it entertaining. Parent’s will be much more apt to watch a show that is at least mildly appealing to them (a la Shrek). Again, Hermie falls short. Don’t get me wrong, Buzz Bee’s singing gets stuck in your head like an icepick gets stuck in an eye socket.

3) have a decent message, but don’t try to get overly biblical when you’re message isn’t. Again, Hermie falls short. Recognize that most kids don’t need a lesson in sanctification, and so you don’t need to exposit Romans in cartoon form. Sometimes, good messages can be learned without the Bible.

4) Max Lucado is really funny. Show more of him interacting with the critters because that part fulfills all the above requirements, and is your strongest suit.

That being said, this dvd set teaches decent lessons. The colors are nice. The animation is simplistic and unmotivating. Very basic computer animation makes the set seem cheap, probably because there was no budget to make it good. Will it work as a temporary baby sitter? yes. Is it decent quality? yes. Would I recommend it as a curriculum or to friends? Not unless it’s free.