April 23, 2018

#Read2017 – Literary Adventures in November and December

Can you believe 2017 is almost over? I guess every year goes a little faster, the older and busier you get. And we have been busy! I usually try to avoid that over-used buzzword, but in this case, there's no other word for it. The past two months alone have included: ministering in Wyoming; driving cross-country; spending a month in Massachusetts, a week in Pennsylvania, and a week in North Carolina; visiting extended family, historic sites, and visiting multiple churches throughout the country; finalizing our ministry presentation and beginning our deputation meetings; taking a seminary class in 7 weeks, including writing a 25-page research paper; celebrating the holidays with our [...Read More]

#Read2017 – Literary Adventures in September and October

This has been a busy fall! We are getting ready to start traveling for our missions deputation, and I also just started another seminary class. Somehow I managed to complete 6 books for my #Read2017 challenge before that all really got going (several of which I'd already started earlier in the summer), plus a handful of easy fiction reads that weren't included in my challenge categories. Here's what I read in September & October (contains affiliate links): Speaking in Bones, by Kathy Reichs Category: Mystery novel Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ Another great book in the series about Dr. Temperance "Bones" Brennan (popularized by the tv show Bones). I have trouble reviewing fiction [...Read More]

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]

Do Personality Tests Add Value?

Personality tests are all the rage right now. From the "just for fun" quizzes on Facebook (what color are you? which state should you live in? who's your historical twin?) to the more serious assessments used in the workplace (MBTI, StrengthsFinder) and counselor's office (Love Languages, Birth Order, Enneagram), we are a culture consumed with learning more about ourselves. Is that a bad thing? No. It can be useful, and even necessary, for growth. Do we take it too far? Probably. I tend to roll my eyes at the silly little Facebook quizzes. According to those, my tastes indicate I have a Master's degree, my dog personality is a mastiff, and I'd wear a yellow shirt on the Enterprise [...Read More]

#Read2017 – Literary Adventures 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]

Peace in the Midst of Your Storm

Wildfires raging out of control in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana. Catastrophic record-breaking flooding in Texas. Severe threats from Irma across Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas. How can you find peace when you lift up your eyes and all you see is orange sky and smoke-covered sun? When you wade through chest-high water to find your home of thirty years destroyed beyond repair? When injury and loss capture every waking moment? Life gets turned upside-down and there’s nothing anyone can do to make things right again. No amount of time or money can replace what's been lost. No amount of comfort can fill that emptiness of grief. How can there be peace in the midst of [...Read More]

Have Events Lost Their Significance?

In this social media age, events either get blown out of proportion or glossed over too quickly. The Great American Eclipse was one of those. How many people do you know who decided to watch the eclipse, either online or in person, just because it had been so hyped up by the media and their friends? And of those who watched it, how many got up as soon as it was over and immediately put it out of mind? It was the cool thing to do, so they did it . . . but once it was over, it was time to move on. I think, as Christians, we should have a more thoughtful way of experiencing things - whether we observe them firsthand or merely read about them online. Social media is great for catching the [...Read More]

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