Updated 2014 Book List

It has been a while since I last updated my list of books that I’ve read for 2014.  In large part, this is due to not having read as many books this year.  The way things are looking I’ll probably have read the least amount of books since I started keeping track in 2005.  But I will say that that last book I read that I just finished was one of the most pertinent books that I’ve read in a really long time and one I would recommend for anyone and everyone to read.

Here is the updated list for 2014:

Fantasy Life:  The Outrageous, Uplifting, and Heartbreaking World of Fantasy Sports From the Guy Who’s Lived It by Matthew Berry

Before You Make Your Own:  50 Video Games Future Developers Need to Play by Bradley Metrock

Saving Mr. Banks The Official Multi-touch Book

Walking with God through Pain and Suffering by Timothy Keller

Sunday Devotional: 1 John 2:12-14

“I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake.  I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning.  I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one.  I write to you, children, because you know the Father.  I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning.  I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.”  (1 John 2:12-14)

The apostle John is writing to believers in this letter and he makes a point to encourage them in their faith.  No matter what stage of their Christian walk they were at, John wanted to encourage them.  Those that were just starting out, those that were going for a while and those that had been going for a long time.

As Christians, we are all at different stages of our walk.  But we are not to stay at those stages, we are to continue to grow.  As we follow Jesus, we will grow and mature and be there to encourage others to grow in their faith.  This week, I hope that whatever stage you are at, you are thankful for Christ and what he’s done for you and will continue to grow and mature in following Him.

Thursday Quote Day: Elisabeth Elliot

For this week’s “Thursday Quote Day’, here is a quote from missionary and author Elisabeth Elliot:

“God is good.  If He is God, he is worthy of my worship and my service.  I will find rest nowhere but in His will, and that will is infinitely, immeasurably, unspeakably beyond my largest notions of what he is up to.”  (Elisabeth Elliot)

Remembering Robin Williams

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Yesterday evening the news broke that Robin Williams passed away.  To say that it was a shock was an understatement.  When it first popped up on twitter, I thought it was another internet hoax as those seem to generate every couple of months.  However, when the news was confirmed, I was saddened to hear it.  Even more so, I was sad to hear that it was a suicide.

There hasn’t been a point in my life where I don’t remember Robin Williams.  Growing up in the ’80s, it was kind of the beginning of the heyday for his career.  His TV show Mork and Mindy was on syndication and Nick at Night so I watched it occasionally.  One of the first movies I saw him in was Popeye because we owned a copy on it on VideoDisc (precursor to Laserdisc & DVDs).  But two movies that came out of the late 80s that I know him best for were Good Morning Vietnam and Dead Poets Society.  I grew up on those two films, especially Good Morning Vietnam because it was on regular play on cable (so I’d get the TV edited version which I kinda enjoyed more than the theatrical version).

Of course, he’ll always be known as the voice of Genie from Aladdin.  That stretch of Disney animated films was epic and his talents being a part of that was one of the reasons why.  When you think about that movie, you have to think about him.

Like with most comedic actors, there’s some work of his I liked and some I didn’t.  I wasn’t a big fan sometimes of his standup work but he definitely had comedic timing.  He was also a very good dramatic actor as well.

I feel for his family.  To suffer a loss like this is tragic.  It is a tragedy when a life is taken like this.  To be in a place where that feels like the only option is something I would never want anyone to feel.  There is always hope.  I’m grateful for my relationship with Jesus.  Because I know, if it wasn’t for that relationship, there have been times where I might have felt the same as he did.

Every day is precious.  Every day is a blessing.  I hope that we are all reminded of this and that we live each day to the fullest and are appreciative of the blessings that God has given to each of us.

Sunday Devotional: Acts 2:44-47

“And all who believed were together and had all things in common.  And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.  And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts,  praising God and having favor with all the people.  And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”  (Acts 2:44-47)

This was a great description of the first century church.  They would come together regularly and worship.  They would share meals together.  They would help one another out.  They were a family.  That should be what the church should look like today.  There should be that feel of a family because as followers of Jesus, we are brothers and sisters in Christ.  The church is a family, it is not a business.  And yes, there are times when even family members don’t get along but they come together to resolve problems.

All people should be able to point to their local church and say “There is my family.”  Nonbelievers should be able to look at the church in the community and see loving people who serve and take care of others, who worship God and love Him.  If you’re a part of a community of believers like that, celebrate that and invite others to be a part of that.  If you’re not part of a community like that, seek one out.  It is such a blessing and is something as believers we’re all called to be about in following Jesus.

Sunday Devotional: James 1:1-4

“James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion:  Greetings.  Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.   And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”  (James 1:1-4)

We all go through trials.  We all go through tough times.  It is good to remember, as James writes in his letter to the believers, that we are to count it all joy.  He doesn’t say count it all happiness, because happiness is based on circumstances.  But joy is not based on circumstances, we can have joy through good times and bad.  And the reason we can have joy in tough times because God gives us joy.  And in those tough times, we grow and mature and have the opportunity to get closer to God.

So this week, count all things with joy, whether it’s good times or bad times.  Because God is there throughout.