October 22, 2017

How Personality Tests Help Us Understand People Better

I believe personality tests have value for us, both as Christians seeking spiritual maturity and as adults seeking stronger and more unified relationships. The key is to remember that our personality results do not define us; only God's Word can do that. These tests simply get us out of our normal way of looking at things, and share another perspective that we might never consider otherwise. But we shouldn't stop at simply knowing our type! Once we have a basic understanding of what those results mean, we ought to spend time reading about the other types -- not simply to satisfy curiosity, but to learn how to relate better to other types of personalities. We need to go beyond learning the [...Read More]

#Read2017 – Literary Adventure in July and August

I finally had some downtime last month, and was able to make some good progress on my #Read2017 challenge by reading -- or completing -- 8 books. Several of them had already been started earlier in the year, so don't think I spent all my time reading the past two months (I wish!). And several of those were fiction, which I always devour rather quickly! I'm almost finished with reading through every category on my list at least once, and am starting to think about challenges for next year. I've been considering a few different ideas, including either a "curiosity" challenge or a "tackle the reading list" challenge. Any suggestions? I'd love to hear what you're interested in reading next [...Read More]

Life in the Age of Smartphones

If you're reading this, you're probably old enough to remember life before cell phones. Think back to that time for a moment . . . Remember how quieter things were, how less distracted everyone was, how intentional you had to be to stay in touch with friends or family. Remember the hand-written notes in your mailbox, the hours of visiting quietly on the porch, the curiosity about other's life-events, and the satisfying hard work of searching for answers by making actual conversation with people in front you. Do we romanticize those pre-cell-phone days? Sure, to some extent. But there were aspects of life that we can never go back to, so in a way -- it's worth romanticizing a [...Read More]

#Read2017 – Literary Adventures in May & June

May and June were busy months, especially with several weeks taken up with preparing for and then helping with our church's annual VBS. In fact, I was running on reserves the last few weeks, and didn't do much reading at all in the latter half of June. But I did manage to complete 7 books for the #Read2017 challenge, including two that I'd been working through for a few months prior (What's Best Next and 12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You), both of which called for frequent personal response, either through applicatory "homework" or simply careful consideration and prayer. But they were both well worth the time -- as well as the loss of reading anything else during those hours! I also [...Read More]

How Does the Gospel Transform Productivity?

Like most of you, I live a busy life with too many things on my to-do list and not enough hours in the day to get it all done. Poor planning, unforeseen interruptions, and just life in general all combine to make productivity much harder than it should be. And one glance at the personal development section at Barnes & Noble reveals that many of us feel that way! In fact, a quick search for "productivity books" on Amazon returns over 36,000 results. I guess we have a problem with getting things done. Is the answer simply learning various methods and strategies to streamline our work and do more in less time? I don't think so. To be sure, those methods can be helpful -- almost anyone [...Read More]

#Read2017 – Literary Adventures in March & April

I read ten books in March and April for the #Read2017 challenge. Lest you think that's all I did that past two months, be aware that many of them were short, quick reads. Only two were nonfiction, and each of those were short and easily skimmed through in about an hour. Of the remaining eight, half were under 150 pages and the other half kept me completely captivated -- you know, the type that you don't stop reading until 2 AM? ;) Here's what I read in March & April (contains affiliate links): All The Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr Category: Book on the bestseller list Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ I don't usually read bestsellers, which is one reason I made a point to include that [...Read More]

Reading the Puritans: Where Should You Start?

The Puritans lived over 200 years ago, but their words still speak today. Through careful study of Scripture and much prayer, they left a legacy of writings and sermons that address the mind, confront the conscience, and engage the heart. And those who make the effort to mine their works carefully reap rich rewards! (Not sure what I'm talking about? Learn who the Puritans were and why you should read them.) But the list of Puritan authors is over 2000 names long, and their published works number even higher. So where do you start? Here are some favorite go-to recommendations for getting started: Voices from the Past -- Volume 1 and Volume 2 A collection of single-page devotional [...Read More]