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Jul 27, 2014

How to choose an online course for the term?

Fall 2014 Courses, Mythgard Institute, Signum University
There's open enrollment for the next term at Signum University already for the Fall 2014 term.  The summer has seemed to speed by this year.  I'm surprised to be thinking about courses again.

There are always three topics for the lecture courses, along with some foreign languages available each term.  This term the lecture courses are on Lewis and Tolkien, Science Fiction, and the Root of Fantasy before Tolkien.

Each course is taught by an expert in that field.  Lewis and Tolkien is taught by Signum's own president, Corey Olsen, of The Tolkien Professor|podcast fame and author of Exploring JRRTolkien's The Hobbit.Science Fiction is taught by the eminent Dr. Amy Sturgis.  And, finally, the Fantasy before Tolkien course is taught by Douglas A. Anderson, editor of The Annotated Hobbit.

With such awesome faculty, narrowing the choice of course down to just one (for my own sanity!) is going to be very hard.  I do like Dr. Olsen's teaching style, but have had a lot of Tolkien lately.  That's also a reason for steering away from Douglas Anderson's course as well, plus the vastness of the readings from Homer to Tolkien covers a large area and I'm a bear of very little brain when the migraines hit.  So, that leads me to looking closely at Dr. Sturgis' course.  I have read the larger works the course will be covering, and just need to read the short stories from the anthologies for the most part, to understand the topic.

I've been reading/listening to audiobooks of the Lord of the Rings and that feels like ancient history.  Whereas, the stories for science fiction will have more of a futuristic feeling, even if set in the past,m at least they are set in the 1800s and not the ages before time.  I'm ready for a more current reading material, and stories to carry me away from reality.  Escapism is one of the themes I expect we will cover in Dr. Sturgis' course, as well as the other.  With these migraines, I need chances to escape and feel like an outsider of the human race at times.

So, that's it for my thinking on how to choose the online course for next term.  What course is most interesting to you?  And, why?

Jul 23, 2014

Wolverine's Daughter .. High Fantasy HiJinks!!

This was a fast, compelling read.  Kelyn faces hardship and grows through some sacrifices, including the death of her mother and the fining of her long lost father, who'd left before she was born.  I read this through in one sitting, only getting up for food and a few other small breaks.  I even stayed up the whole night through.  It was a glorious read.  The scenery descriptions were awesome, as were the characterizations and the plot was continually building towards the climax.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book I received through the Early Reviewers program for LibraryThing.  I gave the book 4/5 stars and would recommend it to anyone who likes high fantasy with barbarians, witches and quests for destiny!  :)

The Girl Who Almost Died of Love .. Don't Judge It By Its Cover

I didn't expect this to be as boring as it was.  I tried to like it.  I really did, but I just couldn't.  I read through the first two chapters faithfully, then skimmed the rest of the book.  Nothing was satisfying in the characters, their actions, or the drama(?) of the story.  I'm sorry to have requested the book.  The cover is great, but as they say, "You can't judge a book by it's cover."  I received my copy of this book as a part of the Early Reviewers program for LibraryThing and am giving my honest opinion.  I gave it 0.5 stars.

Jul 5, 2014

100 Christian Quotes by 10 Great Christians, A Review

100 Christian Quotes by 10 Great Christians from Pastor Duke Taber was a joy to read.  There are gems from some of Christianity's favorite saints and others from virtually unknown persons, but all are good thought provokers.  The book is just a listing of the collected quotes.  There is no commentary on the quotes and very little biographical information on the authors.  Here are a few of the quotes I loved and highlighted in my version of the book.

"The real test of a saint is not one's willingness to preach the gospel, but one's willingness to do something like washing the disciples' feet -- that is, being willing to do those things that seem unimportant in human estimation but count as everything to God."  ~ Oswald Chambers

"To excuse what can really produce good excuses is not Christian charity; it is only fairness. To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable in you." ~ C.S. (Clive Staples) Lewis

"If you board the wrong train, it's no use running along the corridor in the other direction." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer

"Destruction of the embryo in the mother's womb is a violation of the right to live which God has bestowed upon the 'nascent life'.  To raise the question whether we are here concerned already with a human being or not is merely to confuse the issue.  The simple fact is that God certainly intended to create a human being and that this nascent being has been deliberately deprived of his life.  And that is nothing but murder." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer  This one has helped to solidify my views on abortion.

"Secular music belongs to the devil? Does it? Well, if it did I would plunder him for it, for he has no right to a single note of the whole seven.  Every note, and every strain, and every harmony is divine, and belongs to us." ~ General William Booth

"I notice that those who don't believe in uniting with a church or organization.  I notice ya'll use electric lights -- that's organized! If it wasn't, you'd be electrocuted." ~ Aimee Semple McPherson

"Remember something, God never permitted a difficulty to come into our life without also giving us the ability to handle it.  God has provided us with every faculty.  He has given us the power that we need for living victoriously.  It is a fact that everyone of us down deep has what it takes to sucessfully meet whatever life brings." ~ Kathryn Kuhlman

These are just a few of the great quotes in this book.  I gave the book a 4/5 stars.