Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Life of PiLife of Pi by Yann Martel

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


Seems to be a common theme but the book for me started off well and then went downhill rapidly. The story of Pi's life in Pondicherry is humorous and touching. But when he gets on the boat it's downhill all the way. Perhaps there was some potential in illustrating the lifeboat but it goes on and on and on and on. Then he becomes what seems to be delusional which goes on and on and on and on....

Gave up, couldn't bring myself to suffer reading any more.

View all my reviews

Authored by Chris Hall

Quote of the day

"See, Pastors who are obsessed with leadership are like husbands who expect to improve their marriages by reading books about monster trucks."
- Keith Giles at Subversive 1

This blog post authored by Chris Hall

Father of Lights Reviewed

Have finally got round to watching the remainder of Darren Wilson's documentary Father of Lights. Blogged a few days ago after watching the first half and was quite taken with it. Not what I expected.

The film is a documentary style travel around the globe looking at examples of  self-sacrifice, supernatural guidance, remarkable 'coincidences' of faith, and living examples of the power of love as an expression of God's heart for his children. The surprising thing for me was that the people who we observe and follow were 'ordinary'. Ordinary in that my expectation was to see bold, loud, narcissistic, business-men style preachers brow beating the common man and woman sort of thing. But what I got was real people, quiet people, self-sacrificing people and even oddballs all working out their faith under God's guidance.

Here's a few of the characters I got introduced to by the film:

Mike and Deena Vant Hul - Loaves and Fishes International. An ordinary couple and their children moved to adopt a baby from China. God moved in their hearts and they end up selling up, abandoning their undoubtedly comfortable lifestyle and moving to China to start an orphanage cum foster home for babies and children that we would perhaps label as unloved. When they are interviewed their tenderness, passion and love is almost tangible in the room. I also felt that perhaps they battled with the question 'why us?' as they journey along their truly sacrificial path. The picture below sums it up for me.


Ravi - India. This guy is incredible. He audibly hears the voice of God. What's more incredible is that he acts on it. God tells him to go so he goes. Village elders, witch doctors in remote villages and Maharishis all get a personal visit from Ravi. The thing is that Ravi is so quite, unassuming and normal. He isn't preaching fire and brimstone and calling down thunderbolts, he just talks to people that God has guided him to, often with remarkable results. Truly inspiring. There's a worship song by Kim Walker / Jesus Culture which could have been written especially for Ravi. Listen while you continue reading.


Two Indian blokes - India. Didn't write their names down but was absolutely gobsmacked. One of them is blind. One of them is lame. They go preaching and evangelising being led by the spirit. Their disabilities don't get in the way though. They travel by bicycle. The blind man sits at on the front and pedals and steers whilst the lame man sits at the back and tells the blind man where to steer. (Might be the other way round though!). That truly is trust and faith in action!

Latin Kings - Chicago. Evangelists meet with gang thug and pray for him. Perhaps you've seen or read about many situations like this and think it's rather lame but what chimes for me is how even for someone so 'evil' and so entwined in the gang culture he still recognises God. He isn't so highly educated that he thinks he can reason away God through his 'privileged education'. Such honesty was truly a breath of fresh air.

Todd White - Jerusalem. Todd is an ex-drug dealer who's passion and mission is to show love to all peoples. The cameras catch Todd as he's visiting Jerusalem. Todd's work is very simple - to show the love of God to people, regardless of who they are and is summed up in his quote “If people can't see Christ in you, they don't want what you have.” Following Todd you become very aware of some of what some call 'co-incidences' and what others call 'God-incidences'.

Miscellaneous. It's not all light and laughs along the way though. We also meet some victims of torture who have been persecuted simply because of their Christian faith. People such as Majed El Shafie , an Egyptian who became a Christian and suffered terribly, and a Pakistani Christian family who have been hounded from their land and country after their daughter was raped. Some harrowing stuff.

Father of Lights is a very inspiring film/documentary though and I recommend that you find a way to see it if you can.

Authored by Chris Hall

God's Grace

I have a friend who regularly sends me emails with varying religious content. Sometimes he hits the spot though and I think that this is one of those times.

God's Grace

It is a shame but this message is very true. Hope you are all as blessed as I was by this story. I wonder how many people will delete this without reading it because of the title.

There once was a man named George Thomas, pastor in a small New England town. One Easter Sunday morning he came to the Church carrying a rusty, bent, old bird cage, and set it by the pulpit.

Eyebrows were raised and, as if in response, Pastor Thomas began to speak....

"I was walking through town yesterday when I saw a young boy coming toward me swinging this bird cage.  On the bottom of the cage were three little wild birds, shivering with cold and fright.



I stopped the lad and asked, "What do you have there, son?"

"Just some old birds," came the reply.

"What are you going to do with them?" I asked.

"Take 'em home and have fun with 'em," he answered. "I'm gonna tease 'em and pull out their feathers to make 'em fight. I'm gonna have a real good time.."

"But you'll get tired of those birds sooner or later. What will you do then?"

"Oh, I got some cats," said the little boy. "They like birds. I'll take 'em to them."

The pastor was silent for a moment. "How much do you want for those birds, son?"

"Huh?? !!! Why, you don't want them birds, mister. They're just plain old field birds. They don't sing. They ain't even pretty!"

"How much?" the pastor asked again. The boy sized up the pastor as if he were crazy and said, "$10?"

The pastor reached in his pocket and took out a ten dollar bill. He placed it in the boy's hand. In a flash, the boy was gone. The pastor picked up the cage and gently carried it to the end of the alley where there was a tree and a grassy spot. Setting the cage down, he opened the door, and by softly tapping the bars persuaded the birds out, setting them free. Well, that explained the empty bird cage on the pulpit, and then the pastor began to tell this story:

One day Satan and Jesus were having a conversation. Satan had just come from the Garden of Eden, and he was gloating and boasting. "Yes, sir, I just caught a world full of people down there. Set me a trap, used bait I knew they couldn't resist. Got 'em all!"

"What are you going to do with them?" Jesus asked.

Satan replied, "Oh, I'm gonna have fun! I'm gonna teach them how to marry and divorce each other, how to hate and abuse each other, how to drink and smoke and curse. I'm gonna teach them how to invent guns and bombs and kill each other. I'm really gonna have fun!"

"And what will you do when you are done with them?" Jesus asked.

"Oh, I'll kill 'em," Satan glared proudly.

"How much do you want for them?" Jesus asked.

"Oh, you don't want those people. They ain't no good. Why, you'll take them and they'll just hate you. They'll spit on you, curse you and kill you. You don't want those people!!"

"How much? He asked again.

Satan looked at Jesus and sneered, "All your blood, tears and your life."

Jesus said, "DONE!" Then He paid the price.

The pastor picked up the cage and walked from the pulpit.

Note: Isn't it funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell? Isn't it funny how someone can say "I believe in God" but still follow Satan. Isn't it funny how you can send a thousand jokes through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing? Isn't it funny how when you go to forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they will think of you for sending it to them? Isn't it funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us?

Authored by Chris Hall

Father of Lights

At my home cell group we're starting to go through a new DVD (for us anyways!) called Father of Lights. It's the third film in the Finger of God/Furious Love trilogy from Darren Wilson and is about 'God's Heart'.

We've only watched half the film at the moment but it's come across as very good. I was expecting lots of Americans going round telling people 'how to do God' but it's not like my prejudiced thoughts at all. It seems to be a director, Darren Wilson and a film crew following various Christians as they walk in obedience to God.

So far it's looking very good and I'm looking forward to seeing the second half.

Father of Lights official website

Father of Lights trailer from www.youtube.com



Authored by Chris Hall

Psalm 142


Psalm 142
1 A psalm of David, regarding his experience in the cave. A prayer. I cry out to the LORD; I plead for the LORD's mercy.
2 I pour out my complaints before him and tell him all my troubles.
3 For I am overwhelmed, and you alone know the way I should turn. Wherever I go, my enemies have set traps for me.
4 I look for someone to come and help me, but no one gives me a passing thought! No one will help me; no one cares a bit what happens to me.
5 Then I pray to you, O LORD. I say, "You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life.
6 Hear my cry, for I am very low. Rescue me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me.
7 Bring me out of prison so I can thank you. The godly will crowd around me, for you treat me kindly."

Pastor Saeed Abedini
In 2013 Christians are still being persecuted and imprisoned for being, er, well, Christians. In the Islamic Republic of Iran Pastor Saeed Abedini has been sentenced to 8 years in prison for the heinous crime of preaching Christianity. Perhaps the Iranians know something that we in the West seem to have forgotten - the power of the word of God preached boldly, especially by a convert from Islam.
Please pray for Pastor Saeed Abedini.

Authored by Chris Hall