Friday, April 3, 2009

Dentists, Money, Books, and Vampires

Thanks for the well wishes for me. Is anyone else glad there will be no need for dentists in heaven? :) I’m all taken care of now and feeling so much better. It was awful and extremely painful to have an infection in my tooth and a resulting root canal, but God used it for good. I could go on and on about the details, but in a nutshell, through all the circumstances of getting myself taken care of and through the kindness of my dentist, I know God was working to remind me how much compassion He has for me.

I’ll admit I’m dreading the bill for all this dental work, and I’m pretty sure my “value” dental insurance plan isn’t going to cover much of it. But God is also teaching me a lot about money/possessions through the series we’re doing in church and in small group on The Treasure Principle. Has anyone else read that book by Randy Alcorn? So far I’m finding it such a comforting reminder that everything is God’s. We’re just stewards of what He gives us, and He’s not worried about the economy or money, so why should we be?

My dentist and I also talked books in the three times I’ve seen him in the last week. He knows I’m a Christian fiction editor, so we discussed a little of everything from Ted Dekker to Amish fiction to The Shack. A comment he made about a recent Christian novel he read has really stuck with me. He was describing a little of the book’s sexual innuendo and fairly graphic murder/suicide scenes. And then he said something to the effect of, “You know, I used to read all that stuff in secular fiction. I started reading Christian fiction to get away from it!”

I’m not trying to open a debate here, but I just thought I’d share that bit of feedback. It’s good food for thought and made me realize again the importance of Christian fiction being clearly different, clearly much more purposeful than what the world has to offer.

And speaking of books the world has to offer, several months ago I read Twilight by Stephenie Meyer and really enjoyed the story, despite my reluctance to read it. I haven’t read the rest of the series, and I doubt I will, but I watched the movie last night. I didn’t think it was that great. I did enjoy laughing at my husband and his comments throughout. He only watched it with me because I begged him to. Does anyone else want to share your thoughts on the book(s) or movie?

Okay, I’m done with this hodgepodge of a post! I’d love to hear your thoughts on any of my varied topics today.

14 comments:

Debby Mayne said...

I'm glad you got all your dental stuff taken care of, JoAnne, but I know what you mean about the financial aspect. I can think of much more fun ways to spend my money. But you're right. The money doesn't belong to us, and we shouldn't worry.

I haven't read Twilight or seen the movie because my TBR stack is on the brink of toppling again, and I don't see that changing any time soon. I prefer Christian fiction that deals with deeply personal issues and relationships, which is why I love romance. I like quirky mysteries, too, but please, no murder on the page. If it happens, I don't want the details.

Anonymous said...

I agree with your dentist. I, too, left off reading secular stuff and am infuriated when I find it in "Christian" books. Let's make them completely distinctive!

Janet Spaeth said...

Dentists and vampires in the same post? LOL!

Count me in as one who doesn't like to see seamier stuff in books. And I do mean "see"--when I read, I get a very clear mental picture in my mind.

I haven't read Twilight yet, but I will. I've heard much about it and I want to read it before I see the movie. My daughter and her friends loved the book and the movie. Will I?

Jeannie Campbell said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
CHickey said...

I caught the moral references in the books too. Especially with Edward's worry about his soul and whether "a monster" has one. The books were okay. I've read better writing, but it is a clever story. I spent so much of the movie telling my husband what was left out, that I'll have to watch it again to know whether I enjoyed it!

KAG said...

I am so glad to hear what your dentist had to say! I grew up reading RL Stine, Cherie Bennett, and moved into Danielle Steele and Nora Roberts. All of these authors were suggested by my mom. I am proud to say that I have recently converted her to a Karen Kingsbury reader! She has even mentioned how Karen has a much better way of making it seem real! It is so hard to find authors that keep things obviously different but with QUALITY!

I just found this site and I am so thankful I have! Thank you for your posts!

The Write Life said...

Could you please edit the fourth comment?! It contains a major spoiler. I just started book two and have been savoring the "what if's" of how the relationships would play out. I'm sure others will read this and will be disappointed to read about it before they're ready, too.

Deanna Price said...

First off I've read all of the books. I was actually a huge Jacob fan until the movie and then Edwards character came more to 'life' for me LOL. I enjoyed the movie, it could have been better though.

JoAnne said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone!

Janet, I know what you mean. I find graphic violent or frightening scenes in books much worse than movies. What my imagination creates when I read sticks with me much longer than a movie scene, so I try to avoid all that scary stuff!

Jeannie, I did delete your comment per the request, since some might see that as a spoiler. But I agree. I also liked the moral theme that Meyer included in Twilight. That’s actually what made me decide to read it. Becky had told me that’s what she found unique, that this group of vampires was trying to live above their evil nature. From a Christian viewpoint, there are so many great correlations there. Probably what stood out to me most about the book was during the scene where Bella is hiding out in a hotel room with Jasper and Alice. Jasper can sense Bella’s feelings of complete unworthiness that so many are fighting and risking their lives for her. But Jasper assures her she is worth it. I cried at that scene because it just made me think of how Jesus thought I was worth dying for. And that’s not fiction. :)

Cecelia Dowdy said...

Hi, Joanne! I just blogged about Twilight and my views about the book and the movie about a week ago! I also felt prompted to go off on a tangent and blog about a Christian series by Eric Wilson that involves vampires. Here are the posts from my blog if you're interested. The posts are too long to copy and paste into this comment section. My views about the movie vs. the book are at the end of the second post, if anybody's interested...:
http://ceceliadowdy.blogspot.com/2009/03/twilight.html

http://ceceliadowdy.blogspot.com/2009/03/vampires-in-christian-fiction.html

http://ceceliadowdy.blogspot.com/2009/03/vampires-in-christian-fiction.html

Aaron McCarver said...

I so agree with your dentist, JoAnne. And I have to add that I find Christian fiction to be of better quality, in story and in writing, than most secular books! I read very little secular because of this. Christian publishing companies are so much more aware of proper POV issues in stories and the Christian message makes a book much more real. Those without them fake real life. It is not real to not put moral situations in any stories. The world tries to leave these out and we are seeing the results. I am so thankful to be a part of a business that works to please God first and also works to make well-written books with moral, literary, and stylistic integrity. Christian fiction has no peer. It stands alone!

Martha W. Rogers said...

Glad you're all through with your dental stuff. I've had two root canals in recent years, so I know the pain of both the procedure and the bills afterward. I say money spent to take care of our bodies is money well spent. It's nice to have a dentist to discuss Christian fiction with. Mine is also interested in what I right and all his employees are wonderful Christian women who like to get my recommendations for good books to read. Promotion opportunities are everywhere.
Martha

Martha W. Rogers said...

Duh! I do know the difference between right and write! A senior moment there in my fingertips. Hmm. All the talk about Twilight makes me curious. I'll have to borrow my granddaughter's copy and read it. I don't usually read this type of fiction. I much prefer romances and great suspense ala Brandilyn or Colleen.

CatMom said...

Great post, JoAnne, and I'm so glad your mouth is feeling much better now! (I can handle pain in any area but I do NOT like it to interfere with my eating, LOL!) :)
Blessings, Patti Jo