Ruts

snow_ruts

A snowstorm that drops fifteen or more inches of snow onto an area that doesn’t pride itself on snow removal can be crippling. My area has been experiencing this over the past week and still continues to dig out from what would be a routine storm for many areas north of us. While major roads and thoroughfares are fairly well cleared, a drive through the local neighborhoods will reveal a horrendous exercise for your vehicle’s suspension system and the driver’s and occupant’s insides.

As the snow melts in the areas where most vehicles have traversed, the ruts in the snow become more pronounced. In many areas, packed down snow has turned to clumps of ice which seem as if they will never melt.

Driving through the neighborhood, I feel a little like Lightning McQueen driving on the dirt track just outside Radiator Springs (if you don’t get this, watch the movie “Cars”). You’ve got to go right to go left. Of course, my speed isn’t even close to a car on a race track, but I hope you get the point.

It doesn’t take much to fall into the ruts that have been set by those cars that have gone ahead of mine. Even if I try to stay outside of the snow ruts, the tires on my car somehow find their way back into the ruts again. Creating an alternate route outside of those ruts is near impossible for a simple Toyota Camry. Moving the tires outside of the ruts causes the car to slip and slide, to fishtail and swerve until its tires find their way back into the ruts again.

It seems an appropriate picture of life to me. When traveling on the road of life, it’s hard to get out of the ruts of those who have gone before. You can try to break out of those ruts, but somehow, you keep finding yourself falling back into them again. The only way that you can get out of those ruts is to either have a vehicle that can handle moving outside the ruts, like a 4WD SUV or truck, or by clearing the ground that has been formed into ruts to start afresh. Either way, you need the right tools to make it happen.

As much as I hate getting stuck in ruts, they seem fairly unavoidable in life. Just like the Virginia DOT, it seems that we aren’t willing to expend the resources needed to remove the ruts to clear a path. We figure that over time, those ruts will take care of themselves, and if they don’t, maybe they’re supposed to be there. We can easily settle for what exists or what’s second best rather than trying to forge ahead creating a new path.

I’m looking forward to getting out of the snow ruts in my road, if for no other reason to prolong the life span on my car’s suspension system. But I also like to drive down the road with the ability to move around here and there. If something is in the way, I want enough margin in the roadway to avoid it. If things can be avoided that are a danger to me, my car, and my passengers, being stuck in ruts doesn’t allow for that avoidance.

Today, the temperatures will rise, the sun will shine, the snow will melt, and the ruts will be diminished, even if it’s ever so slightly. Nature will take its course and allow for that to happen, but the ruts in our lives need more intentionality to be removed. What will you do to remove those ruts? Or are you comfortable with them just the way that they are?

 

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Looking in the Mirror

looking-at-the-girl-in-the-mirror

We’re trying to dig out from the fifteen or more inches of snow that we got in central Virginia. Our area isn’t used to this much snow, we’re used to the kind of snow that comes a few inches at a time, looks pretty for a day, and is gone with the rising temperatures within forty-eight hours or so.

Having grown up in Connecticut, I’m used to hearing plows all night through a snow storm. I’m used to driving on roads that are clear enough to drive on. I’m used to people who know how to handle their cars through ice and snow.

I’ve learned here in central Virginia that the wise thing to do is to just wait it out. That’s just not something that I do well. Patience is not a virtue that comes naturally or easily to me. Waiting it out is a difficult task when you want to get things done and when you have a natural tendency towards restlessness.

Even as the snow began to fall last Friday, I took my daughter out for a ride to a few stores. Of course, most of them had closed early with the oncoming storm. I knew that I would be stuck for days and thought that I should make one more last ditch effort to expend some of this restlessness before my exile to the house. As the snow began to pile up, I wondered when I would be freed from my exile.

Being confined to a space for an extended period of time seems to reveal the flaws in me, just like a mirror. It’s one thing to be confined by choice, but when it happens forcibly, it seems to be a different story.

I remember growing up that my mom had this mirror which magnified your face. I always got a kick out of looking in it as things seemed so huge and exaggerated. When I finally got old enough to begin to notice blemishes and unwanted marks on my face, I wondered why on earth someone would want to see themselves that closely. If you know that the marks and blemishes are there, why look at them closer?

Confinement causes one to pause and consider just what their own marks and blemishes look like. Just like that mirror, it seems that it magnified the picture of me so that I couldn’t deny what was revealed so clearly there before me. Once revealed, the question is whether or not you are going to remember what you saw when you walk away or if you will promptly ignore it, forgetting just what you saw revealed in front of you.

As I looked in the “mirror” of confinement and did some self-reflection, I came to grips with the fact that my greatest sin is selfishness. As I started to play a little game of “Six Degrees of Separation of Sin” in my life, I realized that most every sinful act that I committed in my life could find its way back somehow to selfishness. Impatience usually generated from a desire to get to my own stuff, a selfishness with my time. Anger usually generated from that impatience. Wastefulness usually came during times when I thought about the plenty that I had without considering the less that someone else might have. Selfish thoughts, and the list could go on.

In the midst of selfishness, I realized just how selfishness begets selfishness, working itself into a perpetual cycle unless there is intervention and disruption. I can’t help but think that in the midst of the innocence and purity that Adam and Even found themselves, they just didn’t like to be told what they could or couldn’t do and what they could or couldn’t eat, another exercise in selfishness.

My determination to move away from the “mirror” motivated me to dig myself out. Not sure what the neighbors thought as I shoveled my way through our cul-de-sac. A truck and a mini-van weren’t going to miraculously find their way out of our driveway without some kind of action. I shoveled like a man possessed, like a man who is fighting to find his freedom because of what he has discovered about himself in the midst of his exile.

When I finally escaped to the clearly plowed main roads, I called my wife. It was mostly to tell her that I had made it safely, but there was probably a hint of celebration in my voice as well. She asked if I could hear the jealousy in her voice and my heart sank as the mirror was lifted up yet again to reveal what was inside. Of course, I needed some respite from the forced confinement that I had experienced. I needed a place to work where my distractions were severely limited from what they had been, but in the midst of those distractions, I also realized how timely and divine they can be as well. Sometimes we find ourselves forced into exile just so that we can look in the “mirror” and see ourselves, blemishes, warts, scars, and all.

Confess

confessI got a phone call from a friend the other day. He had been struggling and I guess he just needed someone to talk to. As I listened to him talk through his struggles and recounting the past weeks, I realized that he was confessing to me.

For a moment, I stopped and thought of the confessional booth in the Catholic church. The priest goes in one side while the confessor goes into the other side. The confessional booth seems shrouded in darkness and secrecy. It’s a secret place where sins can be confessed without fear or worry of listening ears or prying eyes.

My friend needed to tell someone else what had happened over the past few weeks. He needed to get it off his chest, to feel like he wasn’t the only one bearing the burden. He needed to know that despite his shortcomings and faults, he was still okay.

1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” Despite our trust and faith in God, it can be difficult to simply read words on a page to understand and know that there is forgiveness and absolution for our sins. We want more, we want something tangible.

I think that’s why it’s so difficult for many of us to embrace the idea of grace. We feel like we should do something, that there needs to be an action, a punishment, a penalty, a payment that WE should be making. Instead, we can fail to see that the action, punishment, penalty, and payment have been made once for all. There is no need for additional payment, but there is a need for additional confession and repentance.

Confession is a mysterious thing to me. It’s something that we are called to do and when we do it, most of the time, we find ourselves feeling that burden lifted once we’ve confessed it. While 1 John 1 tells us about the need to confess to God, there is another aspect of confession that I think my friend subconsciously realized that James makes reference to in James 5:16, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” We are called to confess to one another.

In a perfect world and a perfect church, this would most likely not be a problem. Frankly, I think our social media culture has made this more ominous and challenging. Why should we confess our sins to one another when everyone else seems to have it all together? Why should we give someone the ammunition that they might need to exploit us, to abuse us, to question us, and to judge us?

Our hesitation to confess to one another has more to do with fear than anything else. We are afraid of what those confessions might turn in to when in the wrong hands. We are afraid that in our confessing, others won’t feel led to confess in kind.

What would it look like if we all followed the urging of James and confessed to one another? I’m not talking about the, “I kicked the dog on the way to work this morning” confessions, I’m talking about REAL confessions:

“I thought lustfully about someone today.”

“I saw my neighbor’s new car and I wanted it more than anything.”

“I found my fingers and my eyes wandering when I was on the computer last night and I ended up somewhere no one should go.”

“I found a way to make a little extra money at work but I know it’s not legal.”

The list could go on and on, but I wonder how often we utter those confessions to one another. How different would our lives look if we were to have the freedom to confess to one another? How intimately would we need to know someone for us to confess these things to them?

I don’t have the answers, but I was struck by the fact that a friend was willing to make himself vulnerable and lay his burdens down. I wonder when I’ll feel like it’s okay for me to do the same thing.

 

#struggles – A Book Review

#strugglesAnyone not living under a rock would have a hard time seeing and saying that social media hasn’t invaded our lives. Companies brand themselves while depicting the images of the various social media avenues. We as a society practically speak in hashtags now. As fast and furious as social media came into our lives, have we really stopped to take a good, hard look at its impacts, benefits, and potential dangers.

Pastor, author, and speaker Craig Groeschel does just that in his book “#struggles.” In the introduction, Groeschel writes, “We’re becoming addicted to immediate gratification even as we attempt to control how others perceive us by what we post, pin, and tweet.” But he doesn’t spend the entire booking talking about the evils of social media or throwing the baby out with the bathwater, he points out truths and takes a more detailed look at just what social media has done to change the way that we see, ourselves, others, and the world around us.

Each chapter starts with quotes from both famous people and random people. The quotes are a helpful picture of a truth as well as a revealing look at just what the negative impacts of social media have been on those whose quotes appear. The chapter are spent focusing on how to recover, restore, reveal, resurrect, revive, remember, reclaim, and replenish some of the key character qualities that can easily be diminished if we allow social media to replace face-to-face relationships in our lives. The areas that he focuses on that have been degraded or diminished are contentment, intimacy, authenticity, compassion, integrity, encouragement, worship, and rest.

Groeschel shares his heart and his own struggles with social media. There’s no denying that he and his church have been the benefactors of social media. His church, LIfeChurch.tv, is located in the suburbs of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. In fact, his church created the popular “YouVersion Bible” app for Apple and Android devices. But in his own brand of self-deprecating humor and with all of the passion and conviction that he brings in his messages, Groeschel walks through “#struggles” and points continually to what the responsibility of those who follow Christ should be in the midst of a social media driven world.

The appendix at the end of the book contains two helpful sections. One section is on the 10 commandments of using social media to grow your faith and share God’s love. The other section is on safeguards that can be found to help with devices, computers, television, and other things to keep you and the ones you love from going astray. Both of these are helpful resources to remind those reading who are followers of Christ just what our mission and focus should be, regardless of whether we are doing something digitally or in person.

Throughout the book, Groeschel offers challenges in a compelling way rather than through guilt. He shows the importance of face to face relationships and reminds the reader that honest to goodness caring, “means taking some action. It’s getting ourselves involved so we can make a difference in a life. Clicking doesn’t change anything. Caring is not Liking a post; it’s loving a person.” He urges the reader to move beyond digital interaction to restore relationships that happen across a table or even phone line.

I have appreciated Craig Groeschel and his winsome edginess since I discovered who he was more than ten years ago. This book is no exception. I appreciate that he engages a topic that is necessary and yet upon which there are varying opinions. He’s not shy about speaking his mind but he also does not necessarily condone an ostrich approach towards culture, sticking your head in the ground and pretending everything’s just fine. “#struggles” is a helpful read for those of us who are trying to make sense of our place or the place of our children as followers of Christ with social media.

(This review is based upon a copy of this book which was provided free of charge from Booklook Bloggers. These opinions are my own; I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated for this review.)

We Are the Change

we are the change

I’ll be honest, politics disgust me. I both admire and abhor politicians. I admire them for the willingness and boldness to step into a broken system while abhorring them for the same thing. Our political system has come to such a flawed and degraded state that it’s hard to believe that change can happen without a major overhaul and restructure.

Just look at the impending November election. Opinions are fully entrenched on both sides of the political fence. The only bipartisanship that exists is in the opinion of Donald Trump, the supposed GOP frontrunner and both Republican and Democratic loathing of him. The devolution of values and ideals has come to parallel many people’s approach in the sporting world, specifically in Baseball when people like “anyone but the Yankees” or college basketball when people root for “anyone but Duke.” People simply don’t want to see Trump as president and so would elect Clinton in an effort to keep Trump from the office or vice versa.

I’m not sure the last time that I watched a State of the Union address. To be honest, I think this is an area of growth for me. Regardless of whether or not I agree with the sitting president, there is some respect that should be shown to the office despite personality or ideology. I’m learning in this area and need a lot of work, I can be honest about that.

President Obama’s valedictory SOTU address was no exception. In our fast-paced world of technology and information, it seems slightly unnecessary to watch for an hour what will be summarized and highlighted in a brief five or ten minutes the next morning.

As I read through the highlights of the SOTU address on my chosen news source (which is neither MSNBC or Fox News), I read a statement that President Obama made that stood out to me. He stated, “I believe in change because I believe in you!….we are the change we seek.” Those were interesting words, words that could easily inspire, but words that seem fundamentally flawed, at least to me in my own theology, ideology, and politicality.

Earlier that morning, before reading the highlights of the SOTU address, I met with my friend and accountability partner. We have been looking at 1 Kings and were talking through Solomon and some of his missteps in his reign as king of Israel. I made the comment that I was frustrated with myself for turning my mood and attitude on a dime. One moment I could be charged up, encouraged, and joyful and then I could move to an arrogant, impatient, and angry jerk. The repeated pattern had begun to frustrate and even disgust me.

As I talked it out, I couldn’t help but hear my own words, “I’m trying” and “I’m working” and realize that was one of the main problems. As someone who wholeheartedly believes in God and in the power of the Holy Spirit to change and reform a person, I know through my own life how changes have taken place and I know that the credit cannot be taken by me.

No matter how caring, giving, or altruistic one claims to be, at the heart of each and every one of us is lies selfishness. I know that many (if not all) will push back on me here, but I firmly believe that even in our altruism, we can be selfish in seeking out a feeling for ourselves. We can do good things and help people, but at the heart of those actions, if not for a motivation outside of ourselves, we are still being selfish.

I commend the President for his thoughts. I get what he is trying to say and think that he’s halfway there, but the problem becomes when we try to do things ourselves and think that we’re doing it in our own power and strength. I always find two things are true, 1) we’re better together, when we work with others and 2) we’re better with God who gives us the power, strength, wisdom, and know-how to move forward.

Yes, the change lies somewhere in us, we can’t seek for others to make that change happen if we aren’t willing to be part of it. There will be no president or elected official who will swoop in and save the day. Superman is a myth. Israel wanted a king, just like the other nations, and thought that it would help and solidify their place, but it turns out that God was right in the end, he was the one who was to be their king because humans are human, faulty, broken, selfish, and flawed.

We all need restoration. We all need redemption. We may be the change, but in order for us to be the change, we need to be changed first!

The Boy Who Could

bowie aladdinI came into the world of pop music late in life. Well, late in life in comparison to many of my friends. In fact, there were two things that shaped my infatuation with music that would continue for the rest of my life.

The first was my parents’ prohibition of anything outside of CCM (Contemporary Christian Music) and easy listening such as The Carpenters, Andy Williams, Percy Faith, Perry Como, and an assortment of other treasures you can find in your local Goodwill’s record collection. I just wasn’t allowed to listen to “secular” music and was even brought to one of those “Rock Talks” that were so popular in the 80’s where some “expert” stood up and went on and on about all of the popular music groups and what kind of satanic and hedonistic messages they were promoting. Sadly, I probably got my list of “What To Listen To” from that talk.

The second thing was General Music in 8th grade with Mr. O’Donnell. I didn’t actually take the class, I played trumpet in the concert band, but on the days when the band director was absent, I was fortunate enough to have Mr. O’Donnell as a substitute for my class. I had heard the stories of what they did in General Music class over and over again, so I was pleased to finally get a taste of it firsthand.

I remember the day that I walked into class and saw O’Donnell (as we affectionately called him) with the stereo out, all ready to start playing “Name That Tune.” I was so excited….until we actually started playing. I realized just how far I was from the reality of pop music when song after song was played and my ability to identify any of them was virtually non-existent. I think there was a part of me that died that day and another part that made a secret vow to never find myself so humiliated again.

Those two things really shaped the way that I see music to this day. My collection is eclectic and large. It’s hard to pin me down to a favorite style as I like a lot of stuff. Some people say that and then you find out that their so-called “eclectic” style is much more narrow than you thought. When I say “eclectic” though, I mean anything from Iron Maiden to Andy Williams, Anthrax to The Carpenters, Megadeth to Les Miserables, and everything in between.

I’m not sure the first time that I heard David Bowie. I have a feeling that he must have been named at one of those “Rock Talks” I went to during my formative years. After all, he was an androgynous spaceman who had been rumored to be bisexual, why else wouldn’t he end up on that list?

Regardless of my first hearing of him, I remember listening to “Space Oddity” and wondering about Ground Control and Major Tom. I remember hearing his collaborations with Freddy Mercury and Queen on “Under Pressure,” with Mick Jagger on “Dancing in the Streets,” and with Bing Crosby on “The Little Drummer Boy.” When I finally came to the place in my life when I heard his song “Heroes,” I’m pretty sure he had me at, “I will be king.”

While I’ve never been a huge fan of Bowie, I can say that I have appreciated his versatility and talent over the years. This past Friday, on the occasion of his 69th birthday, Bowie released his 28th studio album “Blackstar.” That’s quite a career considering he could never be fully pinned down, never lingering in any one thing for long enough for anyone to pigeon-hole him. He was constantly reinventing himself, in fact, it seems that over and over, the headlines are posthumously labeling him “The Master of Reinvention.” He understood the notion of reinvention before Madonna was even a blip on the pop culture radar screen.

As I woke to the news of Bowie’s death on Monday morning, there was a bleakness and sadness that I felt. January is a hard time for me as it marks my mom and dad’s anniversary as well as the date when we discovered that my mom had cancer. Hearing the news of Bowie’s passing from cancer reopened old wounds that never seem to close.

Over the course of the days leading up to Monday, I had been watching Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life” (a blog post in and of itself) and had been feeling the heaviness and poignancy of that film, so the news of Bowie’s death fueled the fire of melancholy that had already been lit.

I think the sadness that came from knowing Bowie was gone was multi-faceted. He is a dying breed, there are not many true artists who are willing to shun public opinion to do their own thing. In these days of Auto-tune, 3 minute songs, and drippy lyrics, artists are a dying breed.

Another aspect of it is that there is something to be said about taking a chance and being willing to fail. All of us, whether we are willing to admit it or not, are too willing to play it safe, to do the thing that is comfortable and familiar rather than trying something new. Bowie is an inspiration to try something new and different, regardless of whether everyone rejects you and criticizes you. It’s a reminder to me that taking chances should be second nature to me, especially as someone who claims to follow the King of Creation who knit everything together.

David Bowie proved to the world that taking chances is worth the risk. He never seemed afraid to try something different and he was never afraid to abandon something that no longer seemed to fit. He proved himself a boy who could in the midst of a world of boys who “know that they can’t.” His artistic spirit will be missed and I can only hope that others might find that same adventurous and risky spirit in order that it might live on.

My 2016 Reading Plan

booksI put together a book plan for 2015 and did not get through the list nearly as well as I would have liked. I only was able to read 11 of the 35 books that I had listed, not a bad percentage if I’m playing baseball, but I’d much rather do better in accomplishing my reading goal. The biggest drawback that I faced was the books that would pop up along the way, books recommended by friends, colleagues, and others, as well as all of the books that I review for my blog, of which there were 19 total last year (approximately 36% of my total books read).

This year, I am shortening my list and including many books that I have started and left unfinished for some time. So, 2016 may be the year of closing up some loose ends. Some of the books are carry overs, books that I missed in 2015.

I’m knocking the number down from 33 books last year to 28. I read 53 books in 2015 and I expect I will read at least as much this year, but I want to make sure that I am leaving room for spontaneity as well as edification, growth, and enjoyment in my reading.

I’ve tried to mix up different genres and go with some books that I may not normally read or gravitate towards. Trying to expand my horizons a bit and see what I can learn along the way. I’ve been trying to read books by people with whom I may not agree in an effort to stretch myself.

Without further ado, here is my list:

Chris Crowley & Henry S. Lodge, M.D. “Younger Next Year”

Martin Dugard “To Be A Runner”

Rachel Held Evans “Evolving In Monkey Town”

Michael Frost “The Road To Missional”

Michael Frost & Alan Hirsch “ReJesus”

Craig Groeschel “#struggles”

Stanley Hauerwas and William H. Willimon “Resident Aliens’

Laura Hillenbrand “Unbroken”

Howard V. and Edna H. Hong, editors “The Essential Kierkegaard”

Tim Keller “Center Church”

Tim Keller “Preaching”

Patrick Lencioni “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team”

Madeline L’Engle “Walking On Water”

C.S. Lewis “Mere Christianity”

C.S. Lewis “Perelandra”

C.S. Lewis “That Hideous Strength”

Brennan Manning “The Relentless Tenderness of Jesus”

George R.R. Martin “A Game of Thrones”

Paul E. Miller “A Praying Life”

R. Albert Mohler, Jr. “We Cannot Be Silent”

Jürgen Moltmann “The Crucified God”

Jürgen Moltmann “A Broad Place”

H. Richard Niebuhr “Christ & Culture”

Flannery O’Connor “The Complete Stories”

Neil Peart “Ghost Rider”

Andrew Peterson “The Warden and the Wolf King”

David Platt “Counter Culture”

N.T. Wright “Simply Jesus”

I would love to hear about some of your favorite books and whether or not you have interacted with any on this list.

Happy reading!

Books I Read In 2015

books to readI read a total of 53 books over the course of 2015. I had written up a plan with titles at the beginning of the year to try to be more structured and intentional about my reading throughout the year. Overall, I did all right with my plan. I didn’t read everything that had been on my list, mostly because my list was much more extensive than I had considered at the beginning of the year.

In 2014, I read 39 books (here’s my post). My original list had 33 books on it but I only read 7 of those 33 books. I began reviewing books for my blog that year and that continued in 2015. So, I thought I would do a little bit better going into 2015. I posted my list and thought I was being more realistic.

My 2015 reading list included 35 books. Of those 35 books, I read 11 of them (marked below with a +). The other 42 books on my list were a compilation of books that I read to review for my blog (marked below with a *, 19 total), books that I read to check out and preview before my son read them (marked below with a ^), and books that just kind of popped up along the way. Some books satisfied multiple categories and are marked as such.

My 2016 plan will be posted later this week and I hope that I’m getting better as I go.

Sam Allberry “Is God Anti-gay?”

The Arbinger Institute “Leadership and Self-Deception”

+* Dan Allender and Tremper Longman III “God Loves Sex”

* Mark Batterson and Richard Foth “A Trip Around the Sun”

Nadia Bolz-Weber “Pastrix”

* Andy Braner “No Fear In Love”

+^ Eoin Colfer “Artemis Fowl”

^ Suzanne Collins “Gregor the Overlander”

+ Suzanne Collins “Mockingjay”

Peter Criss “Makeup to Breakup: My Life In and Out of Kiss”

* Rachel Held Evans “Searching For Sunday”

Michael Frost “Surprise the World! The Five Habits of Highly Missional People”

* Andrew Gant “The Carols of Christmas”

* John Greco “Manger King”

* Don C. Harris “Think Red Ink”

* Jen Hatmaker “For the Love”

Gary A. Haugen “Just Courage”

Wesley Hill “Washed and Waiting”

+ Tim Keller “The King’s Cross”

Justin Lee “Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-Vs.-Christians Debate”

^ Madeline L’Engle “A Wrinkle In Time”

* Amy Lively “How To Love Your Neighbor Without Being Weird”

+ C.S. Lewis “Out of the Silent Planet”

David Lomas “The Truest Thing About You”

+ Brennan Manning “All Is Grace”

* Jonathan McKee “More Than Just the Talk”

* Jonathan McKee “Sex Matters”

* Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson “Mormonism 101”

* Scot McKnight “A Fellowship of Differents”

* Matt Mikalatos “Into the Fray”

* Donald Miller “Scary Close”

* Dr. Linda Mintle “We Need to Talk”

Joseph Myers “Organic Community”

Larry Osborne “Thriving In Babylon”
Jay Pathak and Dave Runyon “The Art of Neighboring”

^ Ridley Pearson “Kingdom Keepers: Disney After Dark”

^ Ridley Pearson “Kingdom Keepers: Disney At Dawn”

+^ Ridley Pearson “Kingdom Keepers: Disney In Shadow”

Dr. Kara E. Powell, Brad M. Griffin, and Dr. Cheryl A. Crawford “Sticky Faith – Youth Worker Edition”

Kevin Roose “The Unlikely Disciple – A Sinner’s Semester at America’s Holiest University”

+ Veronica Roth “Allegiant”

^ J.K. Rowling “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”

^ J.K. Rowling “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”

^ J.K. Rowling “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”

Francis Schaeffer “Art and the Bible”

* Peter Scazzero “The Emotionally Healthy Leader”

* Judah Smith “Life Is _______”

+* Sam Storms “Kept For Jesus”

John R.W. Stott “The Message of 1 Timothy & Titus”

+^ J.R.R. Tolkien “The Hobbit”

* David Vogel “The Truth With Love”

+* Rick Warren, Dr. Daniel Amen, Dr. Mark Hyman “The Daniel Plan”

August Wilson “Seven Guitars”

 

+ 2015 List

* Blog

^ Preview

 

Happy 2016 and happy reading!