Friday, May 28, 2010

Book Review: When the Game Is Over, It All Goes Back in the Box

When the Game Is Over, It All Goes Back in the BoxWhen the Game Is Over, It All Goes Back in the Box by John Ortberg

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Like one reviewer said, this is classic John Ortberg. Successfully weaving bits and pieces of humor, stories, and personal antecedents into a book about meaningful life stuff, Ortberg does a great job of carrying his theme, "Games as life metaphor" throughout the entire book. There were some parts that seemed abrupt or I didn't quite get the placement or use of a particular story or the particular story just didn't transition well into the next part. But all in all it was a good book. I have to admit that it took me an entire month to read the book, but that was more because of me leaving off at different times and not picking things back up again.

What I'll take most from the book are the following quotes:

"People go through life, get stuff, and then they die, leaving all their stuff behind. What happens to it? The kids argue over it. The kids - who haven't died yet, who are really just pre-dead people - go over to their parents' house. They pick through their parents' old stuff like vultures, deciding which stuff they want to take to their houses. They say to themselves, "Now this is my stuff." Then they die - and some new vultures come for it. People come and go. Nations go to war over stuff, families split apart because of stuff. Husbands and wives argue more about stuff than any other single issue.

Prisons are full of street thugs and CEOs who committed crimes to acquire it.

Why? It's only stuff. Houses and hotels are the crowning jewels in Monopoly. But the moment the game ends they go back in the box. So it is with all stuff." - pgs 84-85

"The world gets pretty tired of people who have Christian bumper stickers on their cars, Christian fish signs on their trunks, Christian books on their shelves, Christian stations on their radios, Christian jewelry around their necks, Christian videos for their kids, and Christian magazines for their coffee tables but don't actually have the life of Jesus in their bones or the love of Jesus in their hearts." pg. 115

"One of the primary barriers that prevents people from wanting to know God is joy-impaired Christians." pg 132

"Physician Bernie Siegel wrote, 'I've done the research and I hate to tell you, but everybody dies - lovers, joggers, vegetarians, and non-smokers. I'm telling you this so that some of you who jog at 5am and eat vegetables will occasionally sleep late and have an ice cream cone.'" pg. 132

"I think the greater danger is, as Paul put it, that the world will "squeeze you into its own mold." The danger is that you will lead a respectable, decent, nonscandalous, busy, tired, human-powered life. That is unspeakably sad. We all want to pursue the kingdom of God. We just don't have the time." pg. 132

"Discovering what is needed to fulfill the meaning of your life is not the same thing as being successful, and it is never easy. But deep in our souls we know an easy mission is not what we were made for. It will not thrill us. No one ever went to see a movie called Mission Not So Difficult." pg. 175

"We are not just physical stuff; we are spiritual beings. And our deepest hunger is spiritual. We hunger for meaning. We hunger for love. We hunger for redemption." pg. 196

"That's the world in which we live: we sell what nobody needs. But the problem of the human heart is: we need what nobody sells." pg. 197

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010


I have a blog post in my head.  It wants to come out into the world, but it requires a little bit of work and time to actually sit down and type all the thoughts out in my head.  The hardest about creativity is the creating.  That's where I always get stuck.  I promise though to work this out tonight and have a beautiful, crazy, creative blog post that will probably fail on all accounts, but at the least, I will have shipped.

Friday, May 21, 2010

In Anticipation Of....

"The End" of one of the most creative shows on television, I present to you a music video of epic proportions - epicly hilarious proportions that is...Enjoy!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Classical Revival

Classical music is one of my passions.  I love it.  I love to listen to it in the mornings.  It helps me focus when I have a big project, memo, or something that needs to be written or done.  I love to go listen to it live, to watch the orchestra or symphony perform together with or without soloists - I have learned many things about myself in doing so.  Sometimes it moves me, sometimes I get bored with it; sometimes I wonder how anyone could think that piece was lovely, and sometimes I get swept up in the artistic moment and beauty of it all.  Being relatively close to DC and the Kennedy Center, I have had the privilege to see some of my favorite soloists and conductors, as well as to discover some others that I had never heard of.

This week I get the privilege to cross off another one of my classical music idols, Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.   They are playing at the Kennedy Center, along with another one of my all-time favorite pianists, Jean-Yves Thibaudet.  Gustavo Dudamel is only a year older than myself and in his short life has managed to help transform, not only the musical world, but the lives of inner-city children by sharing his passion with them and offering them another route, another path in life.

60 Minutes has done several pieces on Dudamel and the Simon Bolivar National Youth Orchestra, the youth orchestra that he founded in Venezuela and they just recently did another piece on Dudamel and his vision for the inner-city youth of America.  If you have a spare few minutes and are interested in one way that a person is using his passion to help change lives, watch the video below.

Watch CBS News Videos Online

Friday, May 7, 2010

Southern State of Mind

This post comes to you from Jackson, Mississippi.  I'm actually on vacation this week - and it's weird, being on vacation.  On one hand, it's been easy to detach myself.  But on the other, I feel kind of bored - and missing the beach.  I really need to make it to a beach this summer.

BUT I love being here in Mississippi.  It's a part of me.  As soon as I walked into my aunt's home and then my gram's home, I felt like "I'm home...this is me."  I think part of it is the fact that my taste and style is so influenced by my Southern roots.  I love decorating, but there is a distinct way that I like to decorate (I'm not one to copy a catalog's pictures) - and it is matched by the decor in my Gram and Aunt's home (and of course my Mom's).  It just is so fun and reassuring to see your own taste reflected in someone else's home.

I love being here!  I have probably said the word "Cute" at least a hundred times already, but being here dictates that compliments and praising of each other's outfits, decor, jewelry, hair and/or any piece of the surrounding area that the conversation is taking place requires that it be commented on and declared "Cute".  It is common courtesy and in fact, it might be taken as a slight if nothing is said.

I love being here - I love getting to talk with my 93-year old Great Grandmother about what happened that night on "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?" and treasuring every moment, no matter how mundane, of being in her presence.  I love that she has had her white Cadillac for twelve years and only has put 40,000 miles on it.  Sharp as a tack, completing the daily crossword and commenting on your mistakes that you've made on the puzzle if you haven't figured it out yet, she is a delight to be around.  The history that she's lived through, the things she's seen - it is a wealth of immeasurable treasure.

It's a part of me - I come from a strong stock of women.  This past Sunday, my mom told me a piece of my early history that I had never known before.  My dad was in the Marines when I was born - and both of my parents were young.  My mom was only 24 when she had me.  And almost a week after I was born, my dad had to ship off to Panama for 10 weeks.  During those 10 weeks she lived with her parents in Maryland.  When my dad got back from his cruise, he was home for a couple of weeks, during which time my Granddad, my mom's dad, passed away suddenly from a heart attack.  And then my mom had to endure my dad shipping off again shortly after that.  I don't know how she had the strength to endure taking care of me without my dad, mourn the sudden loss of her own father, comfort her grieving mother, all without the support of my dad - but she did.  And when I'm around my Gram, my Great-Grandmother, and Aunt, I realize where she got that strength - and that strength and force of personality is within me too.

I love the idiosyncrasies of being here in Mississippi, the deep South.  I love how my latent Southern accent comes back when I'm here.  Cooking, gardening, decorating, styling - it's the South and it's a part of me.  I love being here.