2016 Year In Review

This year of 2016 is drawing to a close.  I know it’s really easy to pick on 2016 and say how horrible it was.  I will say it has been a tough year, one of the toughest but hopefully it has been a learning and growing experience.  I hope that your year was good.  If it wasn’t, I hope that 2017 is better for you.  As is tradition for me, I liked to look back and review the year.  Here is the year in review starting with the final book list of books I’ve read this year (one less than last year, there is one book that I’m reading now that will carry over to 2017 list).

Final reading list for 2016:

Film, Faith and Philosophy:  Big Ideas on the Big Screen edited by R. Douglas Geivett and James S. Spiegel

Star Wars:  The Force Awakens by Alan Dean Foster

Reel Spirituality: Theology and Film in Dialogue by Robert K. Johnston

It:  How Churches and Leaders Can Get It and Keep It by Craig Groeschel

Called to Coach:  Reflections on Life, Faith and Football by Bobby Bowden with Mark Schlabach

Boring:  Finding an Extraordinary God in an Ordinary Life by Michael Kelley

Arise by Clayton and Ellen Kershaw

Soul Revolution by John Burke

Auschwitz:  A New History by Laurence Rees

Dug Down Deep by Joshua Harris

College Ministry from Scratch: A Practical Guide to Start and Sustain a Successful College Ministry by Chuck Bomar

Streams in the Desert by L.B. Cowman edited by Jim Reimann

This is the 12th year of keeping track of books I’ve read. Here’s the number breakdown:

2005: 19

2006: 20

2007: 18

2008: 22

2009: 29

2010: 24

2011: 15

2012: 14

2013: 9

2014: 7

2015: 13

2016: 12

2016 Year in Review

Highlights of the year: The highlights were the following:  Board game nights with friends, Opportunities to preach, the joy of writing for this blog

Five things that 2016 taught me:

1) Words matter both what is said to you and what you say to others

2) A little kindness can go a long way

3) It is okay to say things are not okay

4) Keep plugging away and keep persevering

5) Reflection is important for perspective

*Five personally significant events of 2016:  (Well this year it was three again)

1) I celebrated the 3 year anniversary of this blog

2) Had opportunity to preach several times

3) Got to spend quality time with friends

4) ——————————————–

5) ——————————————–

Ten things I want to do in 2017 (in no particular order):

1) Continue to grow in my walk with the Lord

2) Find a full time job in ministry

3) Hopefully find and be in a relationship with a girl that is honoring God

4) Continue to pray for my friends around the world

5) Show grace and mercy to everyone around me

6) Find time for recreational reading

7) Travel to see friends

8) Be an encouragement to those around me

9) Learn as much as I can from the experiences I have

10) Smile every day

Five things I don’t want to do in 2017:

1) Grow weary in doing good

2) Not appreciate the blessings God has provided for me

3) Forget where God has brought me and where he’s taking me

4) Hurt people and lose friendships because of my actions

5) Grow angry and bitter at my circumstances

Five things I love beyond all reason currently:

1) God

2) My family and friends

3) Opportunities for the future

4) Reading

5) Writing

Five things I hate with good reason currently:

1) My sinful nature

2) Frustration about circumstances beyond my control

3) Being lonely

4) Being hurt

5) Bad attitudes

I hope that 2017 will be a better year than 2016.  That is my prayer for me and for you.

Happy Leap Day aka My Birthday 2016 Edition

leap-day

Today is February 29th also known as Leap Day.  Today is also my birthday.  Today is my 9th birthday (you can figure out my age based off of that).  It is always special to actually get to celebrate my birthday because it comes around only once every four years.  So I definitely appreciate birthdays more so than most people.  I’m grateful when they come around.

How did I celebrate today?  Well I went and saw Star Wars:  The Force Awakens for the 4th time.  I also got a free cookie cake from Great American Cookies.  So not a bad way to celebrate the day.

I never know where I’ll be at when I celebrate my birthday but I appreciate each one when it comes along.  I hope that Leap Day treated you well and that you enjoyed this extra day that comes around once every four years.

2015 Year In Review

This year of 2015 is coming to the end.  2015 was very similar to the last couple of years.  There were good moments but it had its struggles as well.  It was a tough year but hopefully it was a learning and growing experience of a year.  I hope that your year was good.  If it wasn’t, I can relate and hope that 2016 is better for you.  As is tradition for me, I liked to look back and review the year.  Here is the year in review starting with the final book list of books I’ve read this year (which saw the most books I’ve read since 2012).

Final reading list for 2015:

Recovering Redemption: A Gospel-Saturated Perspective on How to Change by Matt Chandler and Michael Snetzer
Wrestling for My Life by Shawn Michaels
Scary Close by Donald Miller
Star Wars: Heir to the Jedi by Kevin Hearne
Follow Me David Platt
Pop Goes the Church: Should the Church Engage Pop Culture? by Tim Stevens
Bigger on the Inside:  Christianity and Doctor Who by Gregory Thornbury and Ned Bustard
More Than a Season: Building a Championship Culture by Dayton Moore
The Jesus Creed by Scot McKnight
Connecting in Communities:  Understanding the Dynamics of Small Groups  by Eddie Mosley
Jesus Is _______: Find A New Way To Be Human  by Judah Smith
Why We’re Not Emergent (By Two Guys Who Should Be) by Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck
Star Wars: Before the Awakening by Greg Rucka

This is the 11th year of keeping track of books I’ve read. Here’s the number breakdown:

2005: 19

2006: 20

2007: 18

2008: 22

2009: 29

2010: 24

2011: 15

2012: 14

2013: 9

2014: 7

2015: 13

2015 Year in Review

Highlights of the year: The highlights were the following:  the start of a new podcast that I help co-host, board game nights with friends, trip in April to Ohio to preach, road trip to Illinois to visit my friends Kyle and Emily and preach in Kyle’s church, the joy of writing for this blog, getting to interact and make new friends and being able to watch Star Wars: The Force Awakens with my family.

Five things that 2015 taught me:

1) Even though it’s tough, sometimes all you can do is take things one step at a time, one day at a time

2) I’m better at being patient than I thought I was but I still have a long ways to go to being a patient person

3) Friendship is a valuable thing and truly worth appreciating

4) Laughing is helpful especially in the tough times

5) A kind word has a tremendous impact not just on those you share them with but to yourself as well

*Five personally significant events of 2015:  (Well this year it was three so that’s an improvement from last couple of years)

1) I celebrated the 2 year anniversary of this blog

2) Had opportunity to preach several times at my home church and at several other churches

3) Helped to start a podcast

4) ——————————————–

5) ——————————————–

Ten things I want to do in 2016 (in no particular order):

1) Continue to grow in my walk with the Lord

2) Find a full time job in ministry (would love it to be campus/college ministry related but would be happy serving wherever and doing whatever God has for me)

3) Hopefully find and be in a relationship with a girl that is honoring God

4) Continue to pray for my friends around the world

5) Be content with where and what God has in front of me

6) Find time for recreational reading

7) Travel to see friends

8) Be an encouragement to those around me

9) Learn as much as I can from the experiences I have

10) Smile every day

Five things I don’t want to do in 2016:

1) Grow weary in doing good

2) Not appreciate the blessings God has provided for me

3) Forget where God has brought me and where he’s taking me

4) Hurt people and lose friendships because of my actions

5) Grow angry and bitter at my circumstances

Five things I love beyond all reason currently:

1) God

2) My family and friends

3) Opportunities for the future

4) Reading

5) Writing

Five things I hate with good reason currently:

1) My sinful nature

2) Frustration about circumstances beyond my control

3) Being lonely

4) Being hurt

5) Bad attitudes

I hope that 2016 will be a better year than 2015.  That is my prayer for me and for you.

Happy 2 Year Anniversary

2

I forgot that last Friday was the 2 year anniversary for the blog.  I am thankful that this blog is carrying along like it has in the vein of the “Little Engine That Could”.  I don’t know if many people read this blog or not but the main thing is that it his helpful in sharing my thoughts and my journey.  Hopefully this blog has been a blessing to those that have read it.  I do not take for granted to opportunity this blog affords me.

What does the next year hold in store?  Probably more of the same with hopefully more inspired posts than I have written before.  Thanks again for joining me on this journey and may there be many more stories to share in the journey.

2014 Year in Review

This year of 2014 is coming to the end.  2014 was in some ways a better year than 2013 but still a long ways to go to getting back to what I would consider a good year.  But on the bright side, there were improvements.  I hope that your year was good.  If it wasn’t, I can relate and hope that 2015 is better for you.  As is tradition, I liked to look back and review the year.  Here is the year in review starting with the final book list of books I’ve read this year (which overtook last year as the fewest amount of books I’ve read since I started keeping count in 2005).

Final reading 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

Console Wars:  Sega, Nintendo and the Battle That Defined a Generation by Blake J. Harris

Star Wars:  A New Dawn by John Jackson Miller

Adventures in Churchland:  Finding Jesus in the Mess of Organized Religion by Dan Kimball

This is the 10th year of keeping track of books I’ve read. Here’s the number breakdown:

2005: 19

2006: 20

2007: 18

2008: 22

2009: 29

2010: 24

2011: 15

2012: 14

2013: 9

2014: 7

2014 Year in Review

Highlight of each month: There wasn’t much to highlight from each month.  I will say the highlights were the following:  road trip to Illinois to visit my friends Kyle and Emily, board game night with friends, the joy of writing for this blog & being able to help my home church (the church I grew up in) out in this time of transition

Five things that 2014 taught me:

1) Appreciate the gifts that God has given, especially when it seems few and far between

2) Grieve with those who are grieving and be willing to share your grief with others

3) Hope is a very precious commodity

4) I’m still a long way away from being patient (carried over from last year)

5) There are people that do care about you even when you don’t care about yourself

*Five personally significant events of 2014:  (well really just two again, hopefully more next year)

1) I celebrated the 1 year anniversary of this blog

2) Had opportunity to preach several times at my home church

3) ——————————————–

4) ——————————————–

5) ——————————————–

Ten things I want to do in 2015 (in no particular order):

1) Continue to grow in my walk with the Lord

2) Find a full time job involving campus/college ministry (hopefully)

3) Hopefully find and be in a relationship with a girl that is honoring God

4) Continue to pray for my friends around the world

5) Be content with where and what God has in front of me

6) Find time for recreational reading

7) Travel to see friends

8) Be an encouragement to those around me

9) Learn as much as I can from the experiences I have

10) Smile every day

Five things I don’t want to do in 2015:

1) Grow weary in doing good

2) Feel like I’m all alone in what I’m doing

3) Forget where God has brought me and where he’s taking me

4) Hurt people and lose friendships because of my actions

5) Grow angry and bitter at my circumstances

Five things I love beyond all reason currently:

1) God

2) My family and friends

3) Opportunities for the future

4) Reading

5) Writing

Five things I hate with good reason currently:

1) My sinful nature

2) Frustration about circumstances beyond my control

3) Being lonely

4) Being hurt

5) Bad attitudes

I hope that 2015 be a better year than 2014.  That is my prayer for me and for you.

Question of the Week: Fair or Foul

I figured I’d have another regular (or semi-regular) post and thought this might be a good one to do and hopefully get some interaction here on the blog.  So I will have a “Question of the Week”.  Some weeks it may be a funny question, some weeks a serious question and some weeks just a random question.  Feel free to comment to answer the question and share this post with friends to get their opinions as well.

For this week’s question, “Quoting yourself on Twitter, fair or foul?”