2018 Year in Review

2018…the year is finally coming to the end.  This has been one of the toughest years for me.  I would say right there with 2013 with the level of toughness it’s been.  But by God’s grace I have made it to the end of the year.

Final reading list for 2018:

Generous Justice: How God’s Grace Makes Us Just by Timothy Keller

Replant: How Did a Dying Church Can Grow Again by Mark DeVine & Darrin Patrick

Transformational Discipleship:  How People Really Grow by Eric Geiger, Michael Kelley & Philip Nation

Street Gang:  The Complete History of Sesame Street by Michael Davis

The Stark Truth:  The Most Overrated and Underrated Players in Baseball History by Jayson Stark

Here We Stand:  Enduring Truth and the Reformation of the Church edited by Michael A. G. Haykin

I Will:  Nine Traits of the Outwardly Focused Christian by Thom S. Rainer

This is the 14th 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

2017: 12

2018:  7

Here is what I learned in 2018:

1) Show love and grace to everyone.  You never know who is hurting and could use the support.  Even more so when you’re hurting love others.  It is helpful in healing.

2) Take it one day at a time.  Literally take things one day at a time.  Sometimes that’s all you can do to make it through the day.

This is a unusually short year in review.  Like I said, this was a very tough year for me.  I hope that 2019 will be a better year than 2018.  That is my prayer for me and for you

Advertisements

2017 Year in Review

This year of 2017 is finally drawing to a close.  This has been another rough and tough year for me.  It has been that case the last several years.  I hope though that your year was good.  If it wasn’t, I hope that 2018 is better for you.  As is tradition for me, I like 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.

Final reading list for 2017:

Star Wars: Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel by James Luceno

College Ministry 101: A Guide to Working with 18-25 Year Olds by Chuck Bomar

Community: Taking Your Small Group Off Life Support by Brad House

Unscripted: The Unpredictable Moments That Make Life Extraordinary by Ernie Johnson Jr.

Gospel Centered Discipleship by Jonathan K. Dodson

Plan B by Pete Wilson

Star Wars FAQ: Everything Left to Know About the Trilogy That Changed The Movies by Mark Clark

Godzilla FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About the King of the Monsters by Brian Solomon

Anime: from Akira to Howl’s Moving Castle: Experiencing Contemporary Japanese Animation by Susan J. Napier

What is the Mission of the Church?: Making Sense of Social Justice, Shalom and the Great Commission by Kevin DeYoung & Greg Gilbert

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Church by Dave Anderson & Tim Wilcox

You Can’t Make This Up: Miracles, Memories, and the Perfect Marriage of Sports and Television by Al Michaels

 

This is the 13th 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

2017: 12

2017 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, Seeing the total eclipse and a baseball game afterwards

Five things that 2017 taught me:

1) It’s okay to let go of some things so you can better grab hold of what’s better

2) Being a jerk is never okay no matter the situation

3) It’s important to know what fights to pick and what hills are worth dying on

4) Hold onto hope with every part of your being, especially in the rough times

5) Show kindness to others, a little goes a long way

*Five personally significant events of 2017:  (Well this year it was three again)

1) I celebrated the 4 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 2018 (in no particular order):

1) Continue to grow in my walk with the Lord

2) Be faithful to the work God has called me to

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 2018 will be a better year than 2017.  That is my prayer for me and for you

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.

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.

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.

2013 Year In Review

2013 is coming to the end.  If there was any year that I’m glad to see go away it is 2013.  This has to be one of the worst years in my life.  There were a few highlights but mostly lowlights.  We all have those kinda years at some point and for me 2013 was that year.  I hope that your year was better.  If it wasn’t, I feel for you and hope that 2014 is better for you like I hope 2014 is better for me.  Like in my last blog, I liked to look back and review the year and I’ll do that here.  Here is the year in review starting with the final book list of books I’ve read this year (which in coinciding with how rough a year it was, it was the fewest amount of books I’ve read since I started keeping count in 2005).

Final reading list for 2013:

“Now, Discover Your Strengths” by Marcus Buckingham & Donald O. Clifton

“In Hines Sight:  The Ups, Downs and Rebounds of 40 Years of Sports Broadcasting” by Hope Hines

“Deep and Wide:  Creating Churches Unchurched People Love to Attend” by Andy Stanley

“Multiply:  Disciples Making Disciples” by Francis Chan & Mark Beuving

“Wednesdays Were Pretty Normal:  A Boy, Cancer & God” by Michael Kelley

“Gospel:  Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary” by J.D. Greear

“Who Do You Think You Are?:  Finding Your True Identity in Christ” by Mark Driscoll

“Toughness” by Jay Bilas

“Let Hope In” by Pete Wilson

This is the 9th 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

2013 Year in Review

Highlight of each month:

There wasn’t much to highlight from each month.  I will say the highlights were the following:  my church family in Spartanburg (Hub City Church), guys nights with Bryan, Clay & Mike, my trip to Cincinnati, being able to write a weekly column for website and guest on a podcast.

Five things that 2013 taught me:
1) Ministry is hard but worth it and I miss it when I’m not a part of it
2) Forgiveness is not cheap but it is worth it regardless if the other person is sorry
3) God is still in control, even when things in my life feel out of control
4) I’m still a long way away from being patient
5) Don’t quit on someone even when they quit on you

*Five personally significant events of 2013: (really there weren’t 5 positive events so end up with only 2)
1) I moved from South Carolina
2) I began a weekly column on a website
3) ——————————————–
4) ——————————————–
5) ——————————————–

Ten things I want to do in 2014 (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 2014:
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 about 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

May the new year of 2014 be a better year than 2013.  That is my prayer for me and for you.