Sunday, April 18, 2010

Glaen by Fred Lybrand

My thoughts on: Glaen by Fred Lybrand

Gotta be honest, I had high hopes for this book and was a bit disappointed. Maybe my expectations were too high but I was really looking forward to the concept of self help and novel being combined, but it just didn't work well for me. The flow of the novel was interrupted by interjecting the self help portions. Not being familiar with Lybrand's previous work I am assuming that he shines in the self help area but is not yet a polished novelist. There were little things like fact that the characters often referred to each other by their proper names. If I am going to get into a novel I have to feel like these characters are my friends and we are hanging out together when I read. When reading this book I felt like it was one big long awkward blind date where I have to keep saying the guys name so I don't forget it. 

Now apart from my above comments I did enjoy the self help parts of the book. I thought that he had some great points and made valid connections. 

Overall I thought the concept of the book and the self help side of it was great, it was the novel side that I was disappointed in. Two out of three ain't bad. 

Here's what others had to say:

Glaen front cover lo res.jpg
Click on cover to see the Glaen book trailer!

What readers are saying about Fred Lybrand’s Glaen:

“This book was a creative glimpse into what freedom in relationships truly looks like and how to relate in authentic ways with those around you. For me, I found it refreshing and thought provoking because it really challenges the way many of us have looked at relationships before.” ~ Christine (27 years old)

Glaen is has been a great tool to start discussions with my teenage daughters and help them to understand romance and dating in a healthier way.” ~ Christy (a mom)

Glaen is a clear, straight-forward book with deep, lasting insights about a universally puzzling If you begin it, you will see it through to the end; if not for its wisdom, for also its engaging story. If you care about having a relationship that lasts a lifetime, you will be greatly gratified by reading this story, or sorely deprived by missing out on it.” ~ Stephen (18 years old)

“…insightful, clever, and tied together with surprising twists.  I found the “lies” countered with “truths” presented within the narrative to bring clarity to the often confusing subject of relationships.”    ~ Grant (a senior pastor)

Author Fred Lybrand takes an in-depth look into relationships and dating, plus a little common sense for the real day-to-day world, in his latest book, Glaen.

Glaen introduces the character of Annie Hughes just as she suffers the loss of one of life’s foundational relationships—her parents’ marriage. As a graduate student, Annie suddenly finds herself at a loss to understand how any relationship finds and maintains lifetime staying power, especially a relationship as intimate as marriage.

Lybrand’s character development of Annie Hughes allows him to outline several foundational truths. Using Annie’s “research” and “journal” entries as the vehicle to present thought-provoking ideas to the reader, Lybrand first uncovers the lies of a secular world-view and then counters those lies with the truth of God’s design for the marriage relationship. These observations are made even clearer as the reader observes Annie’s interaction with other couples and friends who are in the process of dating and considering marriage. As she questions her friends’ choices, she also takes an honest look at the relationships she is developing within her own life.

The life changing principles found in Glaen are the gems Lybrand wants readers to take from the story and experience in their own lives and relationships. Thus, Glaen is a book that demands a second reading, as those who read its story will want to go through it again and highlight and examine the truths Annie uncovers throughout her journey. This book will serve as a great teaching tool for parents to use with their children as well as for church leaders guiding couples who are seeking a more satisfying marriage relationship. 

Glaen by Fred R. Lybrand
The Barnabas Agency   February 2010
ISBN: 978-0-578-04652-5/softcover/171 pages/$14.99

The Church of Facebook by Jesse Rice

My thoughts on: The Church of Facebook by Jesse Rice
This is a fascinating book that looks at how the technology today is changing the way in which we communicate and interact. It brings to light concepts such as being "tethered" to our technology and electronic messaging systems and what effect that has on our lives.

I had feared that his book would do nothing but slam facebook and social media sites in general, but it did nothing of the sort. Rice took an objective and in-depth look at the issues and also made it fun to read.
I adore Jesse Rice's sense of humour that comes across in the form of random footnotes every once in a while. These short quips would often make me laugh out loud and found myself wishing that there would be more of them. However his website has many short video clips made to promote the book that had me laughing loud enough to make my room mate stop in to see what was so funny.

My summary and humble opinion is that his book is a great book for pastors, lay leaders, anyone wanting to understand the fascination with "that new fangled technology" as my Granny would say or anyone with an interest in sociology or new trends. So I guess in short I think that anyone could stand to learn from this book and enjoy themselves in the process. 

Facebook: Where the Future Church Hangs Out
How the Hyperconnected Are Redefining Community

CHURCH OF FACEBOOK FLAT COVER for printingA revolution is taking place, one profile at a time.  Online social networks like Facebook and MySpace are connecting people like never before.  With hundreds of millions of users, they’re creating almost limitless potential to redefine our personal worlds.  It’s a movement that’s changing how we form relationships, perceive others, and shape our identity.

In his new book, The Church of Facebook (David C Cook, October 2009) author Jesse Rice takes a deeper look at the movement which, at its core, reflects our need for community.  “Our longing for intimacy, connection, and a place to belong has never been a secret, but social networking offers us a new perspective on the way we engage our community,” Rice states.  This new perspective raises new questions: How do these networks impact our relationships?  In what ways are they shaping the way we think of ourselves?  And how might this phenomenon subtly reflect a God who longs to connect with each one of us?

The Church of Facebook explores these ideas and much more, offering a revealing look at the wildly popular world of online social networking.  “The new landscape of social networking tells us two basic things:  One, we have a deep desire to be known.  And, two, we are faced with a technology that both enables and hinders the intimacy we’re looking for,” Rice says.  From personal profiles to status updates, author Jesse Rice takes a thoroughly entertaining and insightful look into what Facebook reveals about us, and what it may mean for the future of “community.”

Social networking is no fad; it has become a fact of life, especially for teens and twenty-somethings. The Church of Facebook is essential reading for parents and pastors who want to understand this trend and its impact on their children and congregations.  Rice’s discussions will engage social networkers of all ages and stages who are wrestling with the very real issues of identity, meaning, purpose, and friendship within the context of virtual communities.

In the end, The Church of Facebook moves readers toward understanding God’s work in the body of Christ, the church.  Driven by Rice’s thought-provoking questions, observations, humor, and heartfelt storytelling, The Church of Facebook challenges readers to consider new perspectives regarding their social networking habits and how those habits may point to deeper heart issues and, ultimately, our hunger for Jesus.

Author Bio: Jesse Rice is a writer and musician and served for eight years as the Contemporary Worship Arts Director at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, a large and thriving congregation in the heart of Silicon Valley.  Jesse has a Master’s in Counseling Psychology and is an authority on the search for meaning in a fast-paced, hyper-connected world.  He is a sought-after worship leader and speaker with more than fifteen years of experience working with college students and young adults.  Jesse and his wife, Katie, live in Palo Alto, California.

The Church of Facebook by Jesse Rice
David C Cook/October 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4347-6534-5/192 pages/softcover/$12.99