A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

A Moveable FeastA Moveable Feast is my favorite Ernest Hemingway book to date. Published posthumously by his widow, Mary Hemingway, in 1964, A Moveable Feast is a series of short stories, or memoirs, from Hemingway’s time in Paris in the 1920s. In the preface to the book, he states that the reader may regard this work as fiction if he prefers, but “there is always the chance that such a book of fiction may throw some light on what has been written as fact.” Personally, I take this to mean that this is largely a truthful telling.

One of the more intriguing features of the book is the repeated mention of the artists and authors with whom Hemingway regularly interacted. Familiar names such F. Scott Fitzgerald, James Joyce, and Ezra Pound are found throughout the book and form part of Hemingway’s regular existence. Paris in the 20s was as cool as Berkley in the 60s, and everyone who was anyone lived in Paris and knew Hemingway (even though he was not well known at the time).

Another notable feature of this book is its time period in Hemingway’s life. A Moveable Feast describes early Hemingway, when he was married to his first wife and trying to make it as a writer.

Some of the best chapters involve Hemingway’s interactions with F. Scott Fitzgerald. If the stories are true (and I’m not sure the Fitzgerald estate wants to admit that they might be), then F. Scott Fitzgerald was crazy. And his wife, Zelda, was crazier. There were moments in my reading of this portion of the book where I literally laughed out loud. It’s simply hysterical.

All of Hemingway’s writing is great. He has the uncanny ability, through short declarative sentences, to make stories come alive. I want to live, and eat, and drink in the places where Hemingway lived, and ate, and drank. I want to visit Paris because of Hemingway and any careful reader with a soul feels the same way. The city comes alive. The people come alive. The food and drink come alive. And the wanderlust is real.

I recommend any Hemingway, but especially A Moveable Feast.
5 out of 5 cups of black coffee.
Number 2 in 2016.

5 of 5-01

 

 

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Hell’s Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs

HellsAngelsI just finished reading Hell’s Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs by Hunter S. Thompson. Thompson wrote Hell’s Angels during 1965 and 1966, and is probably best known as the author or Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, which was published in 1972. He popularized a style of journalism known as “gonzo journalism” where the author participates in the story, writes in first-person narrative, and frames himself as the protagonist. Gonzo also tends to be rather satirical in tone.

I ran into this book on a friend’s reading list and thought it sounded interesting, so I decided to dive in for myself. It’s a well written book with a sort of meandering style that doesn’t always progress linearly. Thompson essentially befriended the angels and hung out with them for around a year as he wrote this book. He didn’t actually become a Hell’s Angel, and the gang knew he was a journalist, but he seems to have acquired enough rapport to have written accurately. It reads like a pop culture, anthropological sketch.

I knew going into this book that the angels were infamous, but I’ll admit that some of the details were more raw than I expected. To be perfectly clear, I didn’t expect rape to play such a large role in the story. Drugs, law-breaking, motorcycles, sex––I knew they would all likely play a part––but Thompson’s account of rape is uncomfortable to read.

Nevertheless, this is an enthralling book that captures a splice of 1960’s American counter-culture in page-turning fashion. From Memorial Day rides with hundreds of angels, to theories about the gang’s origins, to the wider culture’s varied reaction to the angels, Thompson captures that 1960’s American culture that I’m fond of reading about. The narrative about the angel’s interactions with Allen Ginsberg is especially interesting. The only part of the story that’s missing would have been an account of the Altamont festival, but that didn’t occur until 1970. Bummer.

 

4 out 5 black cups of coffee.
1st book of 2016.
Read with Caution.

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SERMON: Blessed to Be a Blessing

PREACHED:  10/11/15
TITLE:  Blessed to Be a Blessing
TEXT:  Genesis 11:27 – 12:9
LOCATION:  24 Church – Pleasant View, TN

SYNOPSIS:  As the people of God, we have been blessed by God to be a blessing to the entire earth. Regarding Genesis 12:1-3,Tim Chester & Steve Timmis make the startling statement that, “It is impossible to overstate the importance of Genesis 12:1–3 in understanding the succeeding biblical narrative . . . In many respects, the rest of the Bible story can be read as an exposition of these verses, a demonstration of their accomplishment and fulfillment.”

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The Books I Read This Past Year

StottI’m getting oftly bad about this blogging thing, and yet I still enjoy it. So, though I haven’t updated this thing for most of the year, I find it to be the appropriate platform to list the books I read over the past year. Therefore, without any further ado, my 2015 book list:

  • One Nation:  What We Can All Do to Save America’s Future – Ben Carson
  • The Cross of Christ – John Stott
  • The Sigma Protocol – Robert Ludlum
  • Robert Ludlum’s The Geneva Strategy – Jamie Freveletti
  • The Great Divorce – C.S. Lewis
  • Robert Ludlum’s The Janson Equation – Douglas Corleone
  • God’s Lavish Grace – Terry Virgo
  • The Girl in the Spider’s Web – David Lagercrantz
  • Alone on the Wall – Alex Honnold
  • U2: At the End of the World – Bill Flanagan
  • Knowledge and Christian Belief – Alvin Plantinga

Recommended Favorites (hard to pick just one):

 

Tokyo: Quick Update

IMG_4099A couple quick updates on the trip:

1) This bad boy (the passport) came in the mail yesterday. I had to expedite to make sure I got it in time, and it literally came in less than two weeks. That’s pretty amazing!

2) Shane (whom I’m traveling to Tokyo with) has been searching furiously for plane tickets. He had been finding round trip tickets for around $2000, but somehow miraculously (and we do truly think it’s a miraculous God-thing) He found round trip tickets for $1000 this week. We quickly purchased said tickets. This will likely bring the total cost of our trip down quite a lot.

We’ve been receiving some significant gifts towards the trip; we still have quite a way to go, but God has been faithful to provide for us through the hands of friends and family who believe in what we’re doing.

Please consider if God might be leading you to help us get to Tokyo. Even a $5 or $10 gift is significant and we appreciate every little bit.

Thanks for your support!

I’m headed to Japan, here are 3 Ways you can help

———————-

Give Online

*It’s safe & secure.

http://bit.ly/resonate_japan

———————-

GIVE by CHECK

Make check out to “Resonate Church” & write “Ben – Japan” in the memo line.

Resonate Church
2817 West End Ave
Suite 126-147
Nashville, TN 37203

———————-

PRAY for ME

I’m blogging about my trip here at biggzipp.com
More info about how to pray for Tokyo & Japan here:

http://bit.ly/japan_1
http://bit.ly/japan_2

 

The Wisdom & Power of the Cross

The Cross-01

From Operation World:

“The Bible is alien to the worldview of the Japanese––the concept of a Creator God is foreign to most. Strong pressure to conform to the norm causes many new believers to compromise or eventually to fall away. The shame / honor mentality held by many Japanese is a different paradigm from that of most missionaries to Japan. Christians new and old must be discipled to have their entire worldview transformed.”

Meditation from 1 Corinthians:

18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.” 20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

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My Prayer:

Father would you help the Japanese believers to believe by faith that the cross is both true wisdom and true power. Help them not to be like the seed that fell among the rocky soil or the thorny soil, but like the seed planted in the good soil that produced a crop 100 fold. Father help the believers who are part of Yoshi’s community to place faith in the good news of the gospel afresh and anew today. Do not let them rest on previous commitments or past decisions, but today may they cling to your truth and believe. In Jesus name, Amen.

I’m headed to Japan, here are 3 Ways you can help

———————-

Give Online

*It’s safe & secure.

http://bit.ly/resonate_japan

———————-

GIVE by CHECK

Make check out to “Resonate Church” & write “Ben – Japan” in the memo line.

Resonate Church
2817 West End Ave
Suite 126-147
Nashville, TN 37203

———————-

PRAY for ME

I’m blogging about my trip here at biggzipp.com
More info about how to pray for Tokyo & Japan here:

http://bit.ly/japan_1
http://bit.ly/japan_2

 

Principalities & Powers

Principalities & PowersFrom Operation World:

“The spiritual powers & principalities that exercise authority in Japan have never been decisively challenged. The powers associated with idolatry in temples and ancestor worship in homes prevail, even in modernistic, “non-religious” Japan. Japanese christians face notable social and family pressures to conform to Shinto practices, particularly at the New Year and during funerals. Additionally, too many Christians are either ignorant or in denial of the very real spiritual battle.”

Today’s Prayer:

Father, open the eyes of the Japanese christians to see that their battle is not against flesh and blood, but against spiritual forces in the heavenly realms. Help them Father to cling to your truth & believe the gospel. Would you open the eyes of unbelievers to see the lies that Shinto, and Buddhism, and materialism offer, and allow them to see the truth that Jesus offers. Would you do this specifically through the ministry of Yoshi. Free the people of Tokyo with the gospel of Jesus and allow the Holy Spirit to wield the sword of gospel truth lovingly in their lives.

I’m headed to Japan, here are 3 Ways you can help

———————-

Give Online

*It’s safe & secure.

http://bit.ly/resonate_japan

———————-

GIVE by CHECK

Make check out to “Resonate Church” & write “Ben – Japan” in the memo line.

Resonate Church
2817 West End Ave
Suite 126-147
Nashville, TN 37203

———————-

PRAY for ME

I’m blogging about my trip here at biggzipp.com
More info about how to pray for Tokyo & Japan here:

http://bit.ly/japan_1
http://bit.ly/japan_2

 

News from Tokyo

11021194_1087440184616131_1090398503498039637_n

Hey friends,

This is the latest word that we’ve received from Yoshito Noguchi (the church planter we’ll be working with in Tokyo) about what God is doing in their midst.

Thank you for praying for us. I am so thankful for God for brining many broken people to our community. And I am thankful that God is growing my heart to serve the weakest of week. Some has lost job, lost mother, emotional breakdown, some has to take medicine to stay calm. God has been teaching me to be patience and continue to love them and give them space and time to grow in Him. And God is teaching me to listen well and listen to H.S to speak the truth. Risen Jesus is only hope for them to heal. 

Two weeks ago, A college student whom I disciple with and I went to prayer work. We walked along the river and listen to Him. After spending some time with listing prayers, I asked to him what did you hear? He goes God told me to go Tohoku(where the Tunami be hit) to do a volunteer work. So I said if this is match with what the Scripture says and know that it is from Him, what does the disciple do? He said obey.. So few days later, we went to church in Tohoku where my friends are planting church. (it happen to be the 3/11 the day the Tunami be hit) During the few days there, God really spoke to him and he repented some of the area that he has difficult time with. Now he started to learn to submit to all of his life to Jesus as Lord. Praise Him.  

And one more evidences of His grace is that the professor of the college near my home came to our community invited by one of our brother in our community who works for another college. Yesterday, I had chance to spend lots of time with him at the park and listen to his story. And God really helped me to understand the problems and able to speak the gospel. We sat on the middle of the park and he cry out to the Father like “ Father, I have not talked to you for last 20 years, I want to come back to you,” and started to repent and trusting Jesus again. God is so good. For 20 years, God has not forgotten him and pursuing him everyday for 20 years. Please pray for him to continue to believe the truth. He also going through very difficult time last several month.

We are small communities. But I believe what Jesus said to be so true every day in Tokyo. Mathew16:18-19. We have the key to the kingdom of God! Please pray that our two communities will grow in the knowledge of the gospel. And people in our city will taste the kingdom of God and they will desire to want Him more. Please pray for Tokyo and support us.

And please pray that God will bring 10 church planters working with us this year.

As I prepare to go to Tokyo, I can already feel God working on my heart and changing the way I feel about how I’m living now. Part of my identity as a Christ-follower is the identity of a missionary. I’m not just a missionary if I go to another country, I’m a missionary because I know Jesus. It doesn’t matter where I find myself, I am a missionary. Jesus told his followers that “as the Father sent me, so I am sending you.” We are missionaries because Jesus has called us to be his sent people. I want this truth to inform the way I live everyday. There’s something about preparing to go to another country that helps this truth to ring clearer and truer to me today.

Please pray for me as I prepare to go to Tokyo. I need it!

There are actually three ways you can help.Would you consider helping me get there?

3 Ways to Help:

Give Online

*It’s safe & secure.

http://bit.ly/resonate_japan

———————-

GIVE by CHECK

Make check out to “Resonate Church” & write “Ben – Japan” in the memo line.

Resonate Church
2817 West End Ave
Suite 126-147
Nashville, TN 37203

———————-

PRAY for ME

I’ll be blogging about the trip here at biggzipp.com

More info about how to pray for Tokyo & Japan here:

http://bit.ly/japan_1
http://bit.ly/japan_2

I’m Going to Tokyo

10458796_10153044465671698_1025587786438798693_n

Friends & Family,

I wanted to take a minute to tell you about an exciting trip that I’ll be taking in May.

As most of you know, I’m now serving at Resonate Church in Nashville, TN as the Director of Equipping and Communication. Magen and I absolutely love being part of the Resonate family and we truly feel like we’re “home.”

One of the things we’re especially excited about this year at Resonate is the chance to support an indigenous church planter in Tokyo named Yoshiko Noguchi. Yoshi is connected to the Soma Family of Churches (wearesoma.com), a family of churches to which we are also a member. As a result. we have great theological and methodological alignment with Yoshi, we trust him fully, and we’re excited to see how the Spirit of God uses him in Tokyo.

Tokyo has around 35 million people, and the estimated percentage of evangelical christians is only about half of one percent. The gospel desperately needs to be planted in Tokyo.

Myself, Shane England (the pastor of Resonate), and a few other pastors from around the country, are headed to Tokyo in May to meet with Yoshi and other church planters in Japan. We’re anxious to get a better idea of the gospel work taking place there and to plan and pray about further work in this region of the world.

This is where you come in. I need your help. I personally need to raise $3700 by May 20th (when I leave) in order to make this trip a reality. I’m asking you to prayerfully consider supporting my trip as I take this journey overseas. I’m so excited! Somehow in all my 34 years I haven’t left America until now, and I’m anxious to better obey the Great Commission by going to all nations.

If you decide to give, all gifts are tax deductible.

Thanks so much for your support!

Ben Adkison
615-775-6143
biggzipp@gmail.com

 

3 Ways to Help:

Give Online

*It’s safe & secure.

http://bit.ly/resonate_japan

———————-

GIVE by CHECK

Make check out to “Resonate Church” & write “Ben – Japan” in the memo line.

Resonate Church
2817 West End Ave
Suite 126-147
Nashville, TN 37203

———————-

PRAY for ME

I’ll be blogging about the trip here at biggzipp.com

More info about how to pray for Tokyo & Japan here:

http://bit.ly/japan_1
http://bit.ly/japan_2

SERMON: The Crucifixion of Jesus

PREACHED:  10/12/14
TITLE:  The Crucifixion of Jesus
TEXT:  Luke 15:21-47
LOCATION:  Resonate Church – Nashville, TN

SYNOPSIS:  In this narrative Mark seems to be making at least four explicit points about the crucifixion of Jesus: 1) This is a historical story, 2) This is a typological story, 3) This is a humiliating story, & 4) This is a salvation story.

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DOWNLOAD:  The Crucifixion of Jesus

 

 

* if you’re using an iOS device, stream by clicking on the DOWNLOAD link

** to download, right click and “save as” on a PC, or control-click and “save target as” on a MAC