Tag Archives: Shopping

My Top Ten for 2011

Each of us have our different tastes in music, books and movies, but most of us enjoy music and books and or movies.  I might read a book that I find particularly stirring or one that impacts me and my wife will think it’s just “okay.” So, your list might match mine or be completely different.  In fact, if you have a book, CD or movie that helped move you forward in your journey with Christ during the previous year, feel free to share it in the comments section.  I might just add it to my own list of things to read, watch and listen to in 2012.  My list below is not ranked in any particular order.  That is not my intention. They are simply the top ten books and recordings that have fueled my fire for Christ during the last year.  And maybe a movie or two. Anyway, here goes…

  1. Bonhoeffer – Pastor, Prophet, Martyr, Spy, by Eric Metaxas – This is a huge book about a great man.  I took my time with it and read it over the course of two months.  If you enjoys biographies or are inspired by the lives of great Christians, this is a must read! I loved this book and passed it on to a friend who passed it on to another friend.
  2. Ghosts Upon the Earth – Gungor – I don’t really know how to define Gungor and I think the band would be very proud of that.  This is a very talented, creative, innovative group of musicians and worshipers.  As a worship pastor, looking for more songs to help us say all that we need to say to God, most of Gungors songs are attainable for congregations’ singing, but it was unmistakable to me that worship was taking place during their concert at NWLC last summer.  It’s difficult to put my finger why they’re so appealing to me, but I can say that my kids and I can’t get enough of Gungor and Ghosts Upon the Earth displays everything we like about the band Gungor. Trans-Siberian Orchestra meets Sigur Rós and Queen – minus a measure of flamboyancy.
  3. Jesus Manifesto, by Frank Viola and Leonard Sweet – I read this book toward the beginning of last year with my brother.  We live in different states, but called each other to discuss what we were reading.  Reading this sparked a revival in my own heart.  I didn’t even realize that I was in need of a revival, but after years of working in a church, I’d begun to subconsciously convince myself that I had to live this Christ life out of sheer will.  I would have never said that out loud or even believe that I believed it, but my inner thoughts were telling me a different story.
  4. 10,000 Reasons – Matt Redman – Last summer I attended the National Worship Leader Conference in Kansas City, KS and when Matt Redman lead one of the evening worship times, his recording 10,000 reasons became my top favorite worship album of the year.  We have already incorporated 2 of the songs and I suspect more are to come.  The two songs we sing as a congregation are 10,000 Reasons and Holy.
  5. Bark of the Bog Owl, by Johnathan Rogers – In 2011 I began following the blog at rabbitroom.com.  It’s a community of creatives – song writers, authors, musicians, theologians, artists, etc.  I encourage you to check it.  On to my point… one of the contributors to that site is the author, Johnathan Rogers.  The Bark of the Bog Owl is the first book in the Wilderking trilogy and takes the reader into world of swamps, gators and of course the mysterious Feechie folk.  Rogers is a wonderful writer and, though this book is more of a young adult fiction, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
  6. The Reckoning – NEEDTOBREATHE – For me it seemed like this was a step back from the groups previous offering – Outsiders – at least on my initial enjoyment level.  But I found that I couldn’t stop listening to it.  I’m still trying to figure out the deeper meaning behind some of the lyrics, but even if I don’t pick up on them, the music is fantastic!
  7. The Way of the Wild Heart by John Eldredge – An older book that I finally got around to reading.  I can’t express enough that I wish I had read this book when I first purchased it several years ago.  I think I’d be a better dad to my sons.  I hope that I can make up for some of the time I’ve lost, know that many of the things Eldredge pointed out have turned a switch on in my brain.  If you have sons, or just need to understand some of the “why questions” on your journey as a man, then I encourage you to read this book.
  8. Over The Edge by Brandilyn Collins – Okay, I admit that I might be rounding up on this one, but let me explain.  I don’t normally read murder mysteries or suspense, but another book I read encouraged me to read the some of the same authors my wife chooses so… I actually like the book and finished it in maybe two days.  My wife and daughter had been reading a lot of Brandilyn Collins recently so I thought I would join them.  This is in my top ten to say – I’m glad I did – and it really is a good book for it’s genre.
  9. The King’s Speech – This was such a great movie.  I didn’t catch it in theaters when it came out, so I’m a little behind, but my wife and I rented it this year and found it to be a very compelling story.  Reminds me of another who tried to use his stammering as an excuse not to serve.  Yes, I’m talking about you, Moses.  For the rest of us, we have no excuses to offer God when He calls us.
  10. Captain America – The First Avenger – A shout out to my favorite childhood super hero! There were certainly better pieces of cinema in 2011 and certainly more inspiring movies.  I willingly concede.  But I was excited to finally see my favorite super hero on the big screen.

Well, that’s it – nothing too spectacular to an outsider, but to me, this was a big part of my journey over the last year and includes the things I really enjoyed.  I’d love to hear about the books/albums/movies you enjoyed last year.  Please share your comments.

Advertisements

40 is Beautiful

My wife had a birthday yesterday – the BIG one.  I gave her a hard time more than once throughout the day.  She was a good sport about it or rather, she endured it.  I was nice too, though.  I gave her presents and told her she was beautiful and a treasure.  Is it my fault she chose to go antiquing?  She set me up with so much great material!

Her version of 40 is not like I remember 40 being.  It seems younger, somehow.  Perhaps it’s because she has always carried herself with an upright maturity.  She was a young grown-up when I met her.  I’m not saying she took herself too seriously, in fact she was and is quite silly.  The times we are silly together are some of our favorites.  She keeps life fun for all of us.

For me, her 40th birthday is not a mark of her age, but a measure of the richness of years we have spent together.  I value her more today than when we first joined our lives.  In fact, her value to me is more than I could have ever imagined back then.  To me 40 is not a mark of her rising age, but of her increasing value.  I’m reminded of the line in one of our favorite movies – one of the few chick flicks I will admit to liking.

Joe Fox is browsing through the old book section in the “Shop Around The Corner.”  He asks George about a certain book there and George offers some information regarding the significance and age of the book and the following conversation is heard:

George Pappas: The, uh, illustrations are hand tipped.
Joe Fox: And that’s why it costs so much?
George Pappas: No, that’s why it’s WORTH so much.

(from You’ve Got Mail)

It’s not the age alone that brings the value –  the book was a treasure to begin with, and as time has passed, it’s kept it’s value and even increased it’s worth.  That’s my wife at 40.  She is a masterpiece and wonderfully crafted to begin with.  This has not changed.  But the careful detailing and craftsmanship, evidence of the Masters hand on her life, has been polished by the years of her living out her purpose and loving the ones God has given to her.  She was created with a purpose.  A part of that purpose, I’m delighted to say, is to be my partner, friend and the treasure I happily serve.

Happy Birthday, Melanie.


Handkerchief to Cell Phones

I sorted through my drawers this weekend (something my wife has been after me to do for some time.) I needed to get rid of some shirts, that at this time in their life, would make better rags.  This was a task long overdue, Melanie would agree.

As I sorted through and threw rag/shirts over into the toss pile I wondered what had taken me so long. I have a tendency to wear shirts down to nothing  – especially undershirts. Working my way to the bottom of the drawer I discovered an ancient artifact – handkerchiefs.

What were these square clothes – much to thin to make a good rag? I don’t know why I even have them in my drawer.  I don’t remember buying them.  One was blue with a KC logo.  Okay that one was promotional item.  Two others were folded in a triangle – I remember wearing those under my bicycle helmet to catch sweat.  Four were the straight up white variety (much whiter than my undershirts due to the lack of use.)

I recall my dad and grandpa always having one of these in their back pocket.  On the farm it was handy in the field, when no tissues were nearby.  And the dust and dirt blowing up in your face always made a handkerchief necessary.  Just a kid in those days, I remember having a handkerchief of my own when I joined dad in the hayfield.

Why don’t I carry them around now?  Well, I work in an office.  Dirt seldom blows up into my face.  My biggest nuisance is the occasional headache from the florescent lights or the sore shoulders and back from hunching over my computer.  Even if I needed a handkerchief, I wouldn’t have room for one.  Like a lot of us, my back pocket is occupied by my cell phone.

Handkerchiefs now seem to be something of nostalgia and not just of a life on the farm where one was needed to relieve the sinuses of dust.  Remember how Carey Grant or Jimmy Stewart used to offer the lady their handkerchief when she would cry?  Who does that anymore?  Handkerchiefs came in very handy to the beau sharing a moment onscreen with his emotional gal.  “Don’t cry, shopgirl.”

Romans 12:15-16 says; 15 Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all! 

This is all a part of sharing life together. We are made in the image of a relational God and we are to be relational! And not just carnal relationship, but heavenly relationships – sharing life as brothers and sisters in Christ.

Galatians is one of my favorite books in the NT, especially chapter 6.   And in that chapter, Paul instructs us to;

Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important. 

I’m not saying that we should all go back to the days of carrying around a handkerchief, or that we should give up our cell phones in our back pockets and return to the days of blowing our noses into linens. What I am saying is that, as the opportunity presents itself, we should be obedient to Christ and submit ourselves to one another.  We should speak truth and encouragement to one another and when the moment calls for it we should just shut up and be a shoulder to lean on.  There isn’t an app for that.


Live Like You Were Dying (Wait! I’m not done yet!)

Sunday we finished, what I believe will prove to be, a pivotal series in the life of our church. And I find myself asking the question “Where do I go from here?” I feel like I’m just starting to apply these principles into the fabric of my everyday living and I’m not ready to put away.  Do you feel that way too?  I have asked our Church Librarian to suggest a few books from our library that will help us continue on this journey – even when the sermon series is over and the small groups have completed their studies together.  Thank you Barb Rich for being my guest blogger on the Schoeneblog, today.
by Ann Voskamp
 
 Just like you, Ann Voskamp hungers to live her one life well. Forget the bucket lists that have us escaping our everyday lives for exotic experiences. ‘How,’ Ann wondered, ‘do we find joy in the midst of deadlines, debt, drama, and daily duties? What does the Christ-life really look like when your days are gritty, long—and sometimes even dark? How is God even here?’ In One Thousand Gifts, Ann invites you to embrace everyday blessings and embark on the transformative spiritual discipline of chronicling God’s gifts. It’s only in this expressing of gratitude for the life we already have, we discover the life we’ve always wanted … a life we can take, give thanks for, and break for others. We come to feel and know the impossible right down in our bones: we are wildly loved — by God. Let Ann’s beautiful, heart-aching stories of the everyday give you a way of seeing that opens your eyes to ordinary amazing grace, a way of being present to God that makes you deeply happy, and a way of living that is finally fully alive. Come live the best dare of all!
When Life Is Hard by James MacDonald

When life is hard, you know, really hard, we often spend all our time pleading, begging, yelling, refusing, and questioning. While none of these things are necessarily unusual, they are missing the ultimate point. When life is hard, when things get ugly, when all hope seems to be lost… that is when we are able to display the superiority of the life lived in God.
It is in those moments of despair, when we question what is happening, when we don’t know what to do, when some trials never…seem…to…end, that we can lean most heavily into God’s promises and truths.

Don’t Forget To Dream: Pursuing a Life That Matters-Shaped by the Heart of God 
by Tim Dowdy “Don’t Forget to Dream” by Tim Dowdy is a book of encouragement for young people. Many times they set goals for themselves only to have them crushed. Dowdy’s book offers hope for crushed dreams. He offers the path to fulfilled dreams. Each chapter contains anecdotes from Dowdy’s memories, scripture that supports Dowdy’s statements, words of encouragement and a challenge. Dream Resolution is an area to record your intentions in that particular area. I highly recommend this book for high school, college students, and all young people.

Live Big!: 10 LifeCoaching Tips for Living Large, Passionate Dreams by Dr. Katie Brazelton

Life coach Dr. Katie Brazelton provides readers the tools they need to move from daydreaming to real adventure. In a friendly and encouraging tone, Katie takes readers through ten steps, from Face Your Fears to Capture Your Live Big! Dream. Each of the ten steps gives readers a broader, richer understanding of how to start, run, and finish the race well ahead of the pack. And on each step of the way, Dr. Brazelton offers inspiring messages, stories, scriptures, and prayers..
With busy lives and complicated schedules, most people don’t think they have time to fulfill their dreams while still juggling work, family, friends, and God. Dr. Brazelton’s Live Big! has just the right-sized bits of wisdom to help readers get started on the process of finding their God-designed purpose. .

Outlive Your Life:You Were Made to Make A Difference  by Max Lucado

These are difficult days in our world’s history. 1.75 billion people are desperately poor, natural disasters are gouging entire nations, and economic uncertainty still reigns across the globe. But you and I have been given an opportunity to make a big difference. What if we did? What if we rocked the world with hope? Infiltrated all corners with God’s love and life? We are created by a great God to do great works. He invites us to outlive our lives, not just in heaven, but here on earth. Let’s live our lives in such a way that the world will be glad we did.

Surviving in an Angry World: Finding Your Way to Personal Peaceby Charles Stanley

The premise of this book is that learning to let go of anger—and ultimately forgiving the offender—will transform the foundation of every kind of relationship we have. Stanley defines anger as “a strong feeling of intense displeasure, hostility, or indignation as a result of a real or an imagined threat or insult, frustration, or injustice toward yourself or towards someone who’s very important to you.” Building on this definition, Stanley…
1. Helps readers identify the signs of anger, so they can identify anger in themselves. 
2. Reveals the far-reaching consequences of anger, which encompass the spiritual, emotional, and physical.
3. Teaches readers how to handle anger through thirteen concrete steps.
4. Walks readers through the steps to true forgiveness and the healing power it brings.
Thanks again Barb for these suggestions. Barb has assured me that all these books are currently in the library and not checked out at this time.  Let me suggest a couple other ideas to keep the Live Like You Were Dying theme in front of you.  Go back and do it all again!  You can listen to all the sermons a second time here on the FSBC family website.  Go through the book again, too.  You can get a DVD from me if you’d like to watch Gary Smalley’s teaching one more time.  The important thing is DON’T FORGET and DON’T QUIT.  We’ve heard it, now let’s live it… together.
“Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.” Deuteronomy 4:9 NIV