I’ve now been married for 9 months. Considering how long I intend to be married, I suppose this isn’t a long time. Nonetheless, since we are still renting, I have had the future prospects of mortgages on my mind since tying the knot. (A man’s gotta provide a roof for his family!) So the opportunity to read and review Mind Your Own Mortgage by Robert J. Bernabe was an easy one to accept.
While this is another book taking advantage of the cultural subject matter at hand–reflecting upon the housing boom and resulting crash of the past ten years, the book was both incredibly informative and invaluable for a newbie like myself who is new to the housing market, and I don’t doubt it’s usefulness for those looking for some practical advice for something they may have many years of experience from.
Bernabe spends most of the book peddling his MYOM formula, which is a good formula by the way. But most of all I appreciate the time he spent in encouraging the reader to be a responsible spender, repeatedly reminding the reader that when you have a mortgage, any other unessential purchase you make is costing you much more in the end due to the option of using excess cash to pay down your mortgage, and thus paying less interest through amortization. I look at this as the best possible viewpoint I can have as a future new homeowner.
Bernabe also stresses the importance of shopping based on cost, instead of interest rate and payment. I’m actually excited to apply the knowledge he provides and the system he’s developed aided by the extras made available on MindYourOwnMortgage.com. But having completed the read and wanting to apply what I’ve learned, I’m in an unfortunate position now to see how these American rules might be similar to the Canadian rules of mortgages I find myself in. Most of the ideas will be very similar, but of course, it was the Canadian market that did not crash as hard. So I am anticipating differences in the process.
Now I am left to search for a Canadian equal to Bernabe’s excellent homeowner’s guide. Any suggestions?
I think I began reading Where is God? with the wrong expectations. I am a sucker for anyone who attempts to tackle the hard questions that people ask, that Christians and the Bible dont always have all the answers for. So to read a book tackling the question of where is God?, Im all in, excited to see how another author may take a look at such a question, when it comes to suffering and hard times so many of us endure going through life.
However, I expected a methodical, theological and exegetical explanation of Scripture on suffering. Instead, I felt like I had paid the very cheap price of $22.99 to meet with a therapist to have him pat me on the back and there, there, it will be ok, rather than giving me any real concrete answers to the question of where is God? (Note: I received this book for free.) Now, Ive never read any other Townsend books, so perhaps Im simply not accustomed to his writing style, as I assume his other books are very similar in voice. But the book didnt do much for me.
A few other things I really didnt like about the book…
- The books timing seems opportunistic. With the economic downturn weve experienced over the past 2 years, there are many people who have attempted to take advantage of the self-help genre, as so many people are looking for answers to the tough situations they find themselves in because of the economy. And I feel like Townsend saw an opportunity to take advantage of that. Does that make it wrong to right this book at this time? Perhaps not. But Id have more respect for the book and the author if I knew it was stemmed from, for example, someone who has gone through a hard time, and wrote a book of hope to share with others.
- Townsend at times implies in the chapter The God who suffers with me that God is in fact experiencing and enduring the same pain and suffering people endure going through abuse and hard times. However, this is not Scripturally true. And I dont see the value in lying and telling someone God is suffering with them while they suffer… just to make them feel better. (p. 80-81)
- Townsends overall interpretation of Scripture seems somewhat misled. For example, on p. 90 Townsend refers to the story of Joseph in Genesis stating, There is no way Joseph could have foreseen God working behind the scenes at the time of his suffering. But making such a claim that there is NO way Joseph could have had faith in God and believed God was working behind the scenes, even if Joseph had not yet seen any positive results from suffering… we simply cannot make such a suggestion based on Scripture, and in fact I believe the story implies quite the opposite–Joseph trusted in Gods sovereign plan for his life, and thus pressed on.
- Another example on p. 95, Townsend states The Bible affirms that God uses hard times to make us better, even going so far as to teach us to be happy about our circumstances, then quoting Romans 5:3-5. When I first read this, my first reaction was to say, NO, in fact, the Bible teaches us to rejoice/have joy even while enduring suffering. But then a few sentences later, Townsend states, …the verse doesnt say that we must feel happy when we hurt. So in fact, I agreed with him, but the way he decided to setup this idea was confusing, contradicting himself within a matter of sentences. As a result, I lost trust in the author as a reliable source on the subject.
A few things I liked about the book…
- The Appendix Townsend includes in the back lists all of the books I thought this book would compare to on the subject of suffering and endurance. So I recommend reviewing the list for further and deeper reading.
- Although I dont like this book as an overall source on the subject, I would be free to give the book out to someone who was going through a hard time or some kind of suffering in their life to bring them some guidance along with my own words of encouragement.
Overall the book was just OK. Nothing to write home about. And very shallow, surface-level, fluffy content. But perhaps thats what Townsend was going for.
RELEVANT MAGAZINE :: Review: The DaVinci Code:
Check out this article over at one of my favourite sites, RELEVANT magazine. This article is a discussion of the new movie starring Tom Hanks, the DaVinci Code.
I love reading the comments people make about this movie. There has been so much controversy and opposition from various church leaders, calling it heresy and so on. I am yet to see the movie myself. I have two friends who have seen it and they said it was a great movie. I think I'm a bit more critical with movies than they are, but they REALLY liked the movie. So it can't be that bad.
I was recently reading another article on RELEVANT that was discussing this controversy and the author made a good point that I agree with: The reason why these church Continue reading “”
Talib Kweli “Listen” – XXL
Check out this new track from my boi Talib Kweli. Nothing real special, but I love his stuff either way.